What can an MP do?

Members of Parliament are elected to the House of Commons to represent the interests and concerns of all the people who live in their constituency, whether they voted for them at the General Election or not. They are only able to deal with issues raised by people who live in their constituency, called constituents.

MPs consider and vote on legislation and use their position to ask government ministers questions about current issues.

They split their time between working in Parliament and working in the constituency. In Parliament, MPs spend their time fighting for the interests of their constituents, attending debates, scrutinising and voting on legislation, and attending meetings. In the constituency, MPs hold advice surgeries for their constituents to come and talk to them about local issues and problems, attend meetings and community events, as well as visiting local organisations and businesses.

Members of Parliament are able to help with all matters for which Parliament or central government is responsible -

 

Attorney General's Office Tel: 020 7271 2492

The Attorney General's Office (AGO) provides legal advice and support to the Attorney General and the Solicitor General (the Law Officers) who give legal advice to government. The AGO helps the Law Officers perform other duties in the public interest, such as looking at sentences which may be too low.

Cabinet Office Tel: 020 7276 1234

The Cabinet Office supports the Prime Minister and ensure the effective running of government. They are also the corporate headquarters for government, in partnership with HM Treasury, and they take the lead in certain critical policy areas.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Tel: 020 7215 5000

The department brings together responsibilities for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation, energy, and climate change.

Department for Communities and Local Government Tel: 0303 444 0000

The Department for Communities and Local Government's job is to create great places to live and work, and to give more power to local people to shape what happens in their area.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport Tel: 020 7211 6000

The Department for Culture, Media & Sport is here to help make Britain the world’s most creative and exciting place to live, visit and do business. It is responsible for Government policy on culture, the arts, media, gambling, the national lottery, UK sport and 2012 Olympic and Paralympic legacy.

Department for Education Tel: 0370 000 2288

The Department for Education is responsible for education and children’s services in England. It works to achieve a highly educated society in which opportunity is equal for children and young people, no matter what their background or family circumstances.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Tel: 0345 933 55 7

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is responsible for Government policy on the natural environment, food, farming, fisheries, animal health and welfare, rural communities and environmental protection.

Department for Exiting the European Union

The Department for Exiting the European Union oversees the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union.

Department for International Development Tel: 020 7023 0000

The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty, building a safer, healthier, more prosperous world for all of us which is firmly in the UK’s national interest. We're ending the need for aid by creating jobs, unlocking the potential of girls and women and helping to save lives when humanitarian emergencies hit.

Department for International Trade Tel: 020 7215 5000

The Department for International Trade are responsible for promoting British trade across the world and ensuring the UK takes advantage of the huge opportunities open to us.

Department for Transport Tel: 0300 330 3000

The Department for Transport work with various agencies and partners to support the transport network that helps the UK’s businesses and gets people and goods travelling around the country. The Department plans and invests in transport infrastructure to keep the UK on the move.

Department for Work and Pensions 

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy. As the UK’s biggest public service department it administers the State Pension and a range of working age, disability and ill health benefits to over 22 million claimants and customers.

Department of Health Tel: 020 7210 4850

The Department of Health helps people to live better for longer. We lead, shape and fund health and care in England, making sure people have the support, care and treatment they need, with the compassion, respect and dignity they deserve.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office Tel: 020 7008 1500

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office promotes the United Kingdom's interests overseas, supporting our citizens and businesses around the globe. It is responsible for Government policy on foreign affairs, diplomacy, Consular services, travel advice and sanctions implemented by the UK.

HM Treasury Tel: 020 7270 5000

HM Treasury is the government’s economic and finance ministry, maintaining control over public spending, setting the direction of the UK’s economic policy and working to achieve strong and sustainable economic growth.

Home Office Tel: 020 7035 4848

The Home Office leads on immigration and passports, drugs policy, crime policy and counter-terrorism and works to ensure visible, responsive and accountable policing in the UK.

Ministry of Defence Tel: 020 7218 9000

The Ministry of Defence protects the security, independence and interests of our country at home and abroad. It works with our allies and partners whenever possible. Its aim is to ensure that the armed forces have the training, equipment and support necessary for their work, and that we keep within budget.

Ministry of Justice Tel: 020 3334 3555

The Ministry of Justice works to protect the public and reduce reoffending, and to provide a more effective, transparent and responsive criminal justice system for victims and the public.

 

When a constituent writes to their MP, they will write to the relevant department or official or the Minister involved. Many problems are solved in this way.

Alternatively, if a constituent is happy for the issue to be made public, an MP can ask an oral or written question, secure a debate or petition Parliament.

 

MPs do not have any jurisdiction over local Council decisions. However, they can write to a local Council and ask them to look into a problem or to reconsider an issue. In the first instance, constituents should contact their local Council or Councillor.