MPs are elected to the House of Commons to represent the interests and concerns of all the people living in their constituency, whether they voted for them at the General Election or not. MPs split their time between working in Parliament and working in the constituency. They are only able to deal with issues raised by people who live in their constituency, called constituents.
In Parliament, I spend my time fighting for the interests of all my constituents, attending debates, meetings and voting on legislation. I hold advice surgeries for my constituents (where they can come and talk to me about any local issues and problems) and community events, as well as visiting local organisations and businesses across the constituency. Click here to find out more about what I do locally, and my key priorities.
When a constituent writes to me, I will write to the relevant department or official or the Minister involved. Many problems are solved in this way and I always aim to respond within 10 working days although sometimes more complex cases may take slightly longer. If there is a policy issue you wish to discuss please can contact me here.
Alternatively, if a constituent is happy for the issue to be made public, I can ask an oral or written question, secure a debate or even petition Parliament itself.
Once a month each minister from each government department answer questions from MPs at the Despatch Box in the Chamber of the House. There is a limit to the number of questions that can be asked but I can also table a written question to the relevant government department, which are published in Hansard.
Arrange Adjournment Debates
MPs may be able to raise a constituent’s issue in a half-hour Adjournment Debate. To get an Adjournment Debate, MPs must be successful in a ballot of Members of Parliament or have the subject chosen by the Speaker. The debates are usually the last business of the day and a government minister responds at the end of the debate.
Present a Petition
Members of Parliament can present a petition to Parliament on behalf of their constituents. The format and wording of the petition need to be in a particular way. For more information or guidance, please contact:
Clerk of Public Petitions
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
What I cannot do, however, is have any jurisdiction over local Council decisions. I can write to on your behalf to the council and ask them to look into a problem or to reconsider an issue. In the first instance though, constituents should contact their local council or councillor directly. You can find your local Cornwall councillor here.
I understand the concerns people have about MP's expenses. The values of transparency and integrity have always been important to me in my role as your MP.
Please click here to see a full breakdown of my MP expenses on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's website.