Your Member of Parliament is your representative, so you should feel free to contact them to put your views and to ask them to take your concerns on board. The most convenient way to do this is by writing to them – though the most effective way to get your point across may be to phone and make an appointment to see them at their constituency surgery.
Use the UK Parliament website to find out how to contact your MP. You can search by your MP’s surname or simply use your home postcode. The search result will tell you who they are, their party affiliation, their main political interests and their email address.
Letter writing tips
- E-mail rather than writing a physical letter if possible – this will make it more convenient for your MP’s office to deal with. If you’d still rather send a letter, you can write to your MP at House of Commons, London. SW1A 0AA
- Include your full name and home address with postcode so your MP knows you’re a constituent.
- Keep your letter short and to the point.
- Have a specific request. State it clearly, succinctly – and politely!
- If you have experience or expertise on the topic you’re writing on, briefly mention it to lend weight to your case.
- Make your letter personal. Include your own stories where possible. How does this issue affect you personally? Maybe you’re a scientist: mention what you work on, and why it’s interesting or important; perhaps you or a friend or relative is a patient benefiting from biomedical research; you might care about climate change, or just love hearing about the latest breakthroughs in space or particle physics.
- If these issues will directly affect others in your MP’s constituency, say why. Perhaps a large number of people are employed at a local university, or there’s a science park nearby where local businesses perform R&D. Research affects all of us, but if there are issues specific to your constituency, your MP is more likely to be willing and able to engage.
- Find out some basic facts about your MP before getting in touch. Most of this is actually provided on the same webpage used to find your MP’s contact details:
- Which party they are part of may make a difference to what you say.
- If your MP has a ministerial post or sits on a committee, it might be worth explaining the significance of your concerns to their role.
- If you’re writing about the EU, you can check whether your MP campaigned to Leave or Remain using this tool on the BBC website.
Phoning or visiting your MP
If you can, it may be even more effective to contact your MP by phone to seek a meeting as a constituent (in addition to writing to them).
This is because, MPs typically get 100-1000 communications a day via email or social media. The messages that get attention tend to be those that are preceded or followed up with a phone call asking for a constituency surgery slot.
The searchable Commons directory of MPs includes a list of constituency offices who generally handle surgery appointments.
The best way to reach your MP by phone is through the Commons Westminster switchboard (Tel: 020 7219 3000). You just need to ask to be put through to “the office of xxx MP” and that will happen. So long you say “I am the constituent of xxx MP”, the office can’t put the phone down on you!