This page has been designed to answer many of the most common questions you might like to ask. If there is something else that you think should be added to it, please let me know by emailing email@example.com
Details of other organisations that can help at are the bottom of this page.
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What does an MP do?
MPs are elected to Parliament by the British, Irish and Commonwealth residents of a constituency. Following the 2019 General Election there are 650 constituencies in the UK.
In Parliament, MPs participate in debates and vote on proposed laws and other matters. Many MPs are also members of parliamentary committees that examine proposed laws or the work of individual government departments. Some will also have a role as a government minister or as an opposition spokesperson.
MPs can help their constituents by taking up issues with Government departments and by representing local concerns in Parliament.
Am I your MP?
My constituency covers Twickenham, Teddington, the Hamptons, Fulwell, St Margarets, Strawberry Hill and Whitton.
You can easily check if I am your MP via the Parliamentary website. All you need to do is to type your postcode into the box.
Can I help even if I am not your MP?
No, I’m afraid not. There is a strict Parliamentary rule that MPs can only offer assistance to people who live in, and businesses that are located in, the constituency they represent. The link above will provide details for your own MP and you should make contact with her or him.
How to contact me
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can write to me at Munira Wilson MP, House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA
You can call my constituency office on 020 8977 0606
You can also come to one of my regular advice surgeries, which are held at various venues around the constituency and on different days/times (to try to make it easy for the largest number of people).
Details of how to book for a surgery are here.
How I can help
I can offer assistance with matters that Parliament and Central Government are responsible for, such as Government Departments or raising issues with Ministers. I can write to senior officials or Ministers in Government Departments and Agencies.
My staff often telephone Government Agencies like the UK Immigration and Visa Service or the DWP on behalf of constituents, and I also do so when this is necessary. I may lobby a Minister personally when appropriate. I can ask Parliamentary Questions of Ministers, which they are obliged to reply to (this does not guarantee that their answer will be useful!). I can apply for a debate in the House of Commons or in Westminster Hall if the issue is one that needs to be raised more widely – this does not guarantee that I will be successful in the ballot.
I will also try to help when a private company has caused problems to you.
I am not elected to Richmond Borough Council. I have no direct control over the issues for which this local authority has responsibility – such as housing, roads, schools, public transport, refuse collection, and planning. I will try to assist wherever I can by contacting the Council; however, such assistance may involve me asking for local councillors to take up primary responsibility for your case if they are better placed to progress it.
Unfortunately, I cannot help you with filling in application forms for benefits or housing, or with legal problems. I cannot write to private individuals (for example, your neighbours) on your behalf. I cannot undertake research on your behalf for projects or study that you are undertaking.
How long will I take to reply to you?
I receive hundreds of requests for help, assistance and information, and I try, along with my caseworkers, to ensure that all work is dealt with as quickly as possible. All requests for help are looked at on receipt and urgent cases are prioritised as quickly as possible. I’m sorry that this sometimes means that you have to wait for a reply.
I aim to reply to all requests for assistance within 10 working days. Sometimes, with very complex cases or at times of peak demand, it may take a little longer.
For enquiries on policy matters, I also aim to respond within 10 working days but at busy times we prioritise personal cases and the response time for policy enquiries and write in campaigns may take longer.
If you have not had a response to an enquiry, please call my office on 020 8977 0606 or email me.
What is an advice surgery and when are they?
Advice surgeries are opportunities for constituents with problems to come and speak to me about personal issues or problems that they are experiencing. My caseworkers and I take details of the problems and will then make enquiries about them. Advice surgeries are only for constituents.
Advice Surgeries move day, time and venue around the constituency in order to be near as many constituents as possible over a period of time. I am sorry but practicalities mean that it is difficult to publish all the details in advance.
How to get an appointment at a surgery
I operate an appointment system. To get an appointment please email email@example.com or telephone my office on 020 8977 0606.
Please note that my staff will ask for your name, contact details and address, and also details of the issue you want to raise with me. This is because surgeries are usually oversubscribed, and so we want to make the best use of your time (and mine) by doing preliminary research before you see me. This may involve writing to third parties before the surgery to get their take on the situation.
If your situation is urgent, or if there are reasons why you cannot provide detail over the telephone or in writing, then I will try to fit you in as soon as I can. If it is not possible – for example, because my surgery is fully booked for some time ahead – I may ask you to have a meeting with one of my caseworkers. He or she will take notes, ask questions, look at whatever paperwork you have and report back to me.
If you have special needs, please do not hesitate to let me know, so that we can adapt to your needs as far as is possible.
What is the best way to invite me to an event?
The very best way to invite me to an event is to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When sending an invite, please be as clear as possible about what the event is, where it will be, date and time it will run to and from. If you want me to do anything at the event – e.g. make a speech – please say.
I receive over a hundred invitations a month, and sadly I am not able to make more than a very small minority. I will prioritise those within the constituency and those involving ordinary constituents or on the major issues within the constituency.
How to find out how I voted or what I’ve said
The Parliament website shows progress for all bills before Parliament at the link below. However it is not particularly easy to navigate from there to finding the votes. It may be simpler to ask me, or you can put my name and the subject of the bill into the search box and it will bring up votes.
If you want to find out what I’ve said the search function on TheyWorkForYou is also good – you can enter an MP’s name along with a topic
Finding out more about my health role
I am the Liberal Democrat Health & Social Care spokesperson. You are welcome to contact me about education matters, but I do not have secretarial support to reply to the many good ideas that I am sent so I’m afraid that I may not be able to reply individually. However, I do read all the emails and pass them on as appropriate. The Health & Social Care Liberal Democrat working group has now concluded. The final paper from Autumn Conference 2019 in Bournemouth can be found here.
Finding out about my expenses
My first priority is to ensure that I serve my constituents properly.
The vast majority of my office and staffing costs have been used to fund the setting up and running costs of my constituency office and the staff team based there.
I have only one member of paid staff based in Westminster.
All MPs’ expenses are strictly controlled by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). Full details are on their website
Applying for a job
Like many MPs, I publish vacant roles, when they arise, in the jobs section of the Working For an MP website W4MP.org. The website also contains lots of useful advice.
Applying for work experience
I will always consider requests for short periods of work experience from constituents who have a genuine interest in politics. However, the decision to accept or decline requests will depend on my/my office’s schedule and available space. I want to make sure that any work experience offered is worthwhile and that means I cannot accept all the requests I get. Priority will be given to constituents.
If you are interested, please email me on email@example.com
Finding out more about how Parliament works
There are many resources available on the internet and in books. Parliament’s own website has much information on it.
A good source of information for younger readers is the website of Parliament’s Education Service.
Booking tours and tickets
My Westminster office is always happy to try and help to arrange a tour of Parliament for my constituents. These tours are free of charge when the House is sitting. Tours are very popular and are booked up many months in advance. Further information on MP booked tours of Parliament is here.
If you would like my office to arrange a tour of Parliament, please contact me via email.
Commercial tours of Parliament are also run at weekends and when Parliament is in recess. The commercial tours can be personally guided as part of a group or with an audio headset. You can also book a commercial tour that includes an afternoon tea. Further details can be found here.
MPs can often arrange for you to watch a debate in the House of Commons. Please contact my office directly with details of your requirements. Further information on watching debates can be found here.
You can often get tickets just by queuing on the day, but not for popular sessions such as Prime Minister’s Question Time.
You can also watch Select committees.
To get tickets for Prime Minister’s Question Time
The Public Gallery for the House of Commons is very small. MPs receive two PMQs tickets for their constituents in each calendar month. To be added to the waiting list, please contact my office by email. Please be aware that the waiting list is currently just over six months long.
Find out more about Prime Minister’s Questions.