It is apparent, that many Conservative MPs are ignoring emails and correspondence from Remainer constituents, even when the constituency majority was for Remain.
Tactics being used are automated-reply responses, no response, standard Brexit letters (which include copypasted sections of Mayhem’s speeches) or again, no response at all.
It’s frustrating, especially when you’ve done a lot of research on your email or letter and it’s all referenced, so that your MP can’t challenge the sources of your argument. Worse still, when your email or letter is specifically about the impacts of Brexit on your MP’s constituency, your community, your life.
The Parliamentary Standards Committee, doesn’t investigate complaints about correspondence between constituents and MPs. That’s a longstanding rule, not recent and shows that some MPs have always had a less than conscientious attitude towards correspondence from the constituents whom they represent.
1. Whenever you have the option to notify your MP, as you sign up to a campaign or sign a petition, please do it. You’re sending the MP a ‘you might not be answering, but I’m not going away’ message, as a side benefit.
2. Don’t stop writing ! If you can afford it, switch to snail mail. This creates a physical object, which has to be opened, scanned and stored, if nothing else. It makes more work for the MP’s staff. Sounds harsh, but if the MP won’t respond, ultimately s/he’s the one causing them the extra work and interrupting the office routine. Maximum hassle.
3. When you have the dates of at least four emails or letters, (preferably NOT grouped close together) which have not been replied to, send a letter stating this, with a list of dates and ask for a reply to the issues you have raised. Hopefully, this will jolt someone in the office into bringing your letter to the MP’s attention.
4. You can reinforce this by calling the MP’s office via the House of Commons switchboard on 020 7219 3000
You might get a member of the office staff, a voicemail or the MP. Be prepared in advance, with notes on the issues you raised, in case you get your MP or a voicemail – someone is tasked with listening to them. If you get someone from your MP’s team, there’s your opportunity to point out that: (a) your emails/letters have gone unanswered, so (b) how do you go about making an appointment to meet with your MP, at a constituency surgery.
Americans call the offices of their legislators, a LOT. Organisations conduct calling campaigns. It’s time that MPs heard our voices and our stories.
5. You can book a free 75 minute Parliamentary tour, known as a democratic access tour, via your MP. Polite MPs will take the time to come meet with constituents if they can.
6. Another avenue open to you, is to write to the Conservative Party. After all, the instructions to ignore Remainers aren’t coming from Parliament staff, but from Conservative Party whips.
Sir Patrick McLoughlin MP
Chairman, Conservative Party
4 Matthew Parker Street
It might be useful, to point out to Sir Patrick, that forcing their MPs to ignore Remainer constituents is surely against the House of Commons Code of Conduct
If you were a Conservative Party member or voter and have left the party and would no longer vote Conservative, tell the Chairman this. Someone within the party must be monitoring the loss of support because of Brexit.
You could also remind the Chairman that the Conservative government advocated Remain and that Remainers, who voted the way the Government advised, have been subsequently stabbed all over by a Conservative government, which is acting undemocratically in ensuring that the voices of Remainers aren’t heard.
Something along those lines anyway..
Bottom line here. is that instead of remoaning, we have to call these people to account for their actions, both big and small. Only 26% of the country voted Leave. Only two of four nations.
7. If you belong to a Remain group and find lack of response from Conservative MPs is a widespread problem in your town, city, council or region, instead of calling individual MP’s offices, gather the evidence together and go to local media.