What can an MP do?

An MP's Responsibilities and How Your MP Can Help

Members of Parliament (MPs) are elected to the House of Commons to represent the interests and concerns of all the people who live in their constituency.  MPs are only able to deal with issues raised by constituents.

MPs decide whether to vote for or against new laws and use their position to ask the Government questions about current issues.

Oral or Written Questions

Once a month a Minister from each Government department (e.g. the Treasury, Home Office, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) answers questions from MPs in the House of Commons.  There is a limit to the number of questions that can be asked in each Q&A session but an MP can also submit questions in writing to the relevant government department, which are published in Hansard.

Adjournment Debates

MPs can raise issues of importance to their constituencies in what are known as 'Adjournment Debates'.  These last half an hour.  Adjournment debates are usually the last business of the day and a government minister responds at the end of the debate.

Petition

MPs can present a petition to Parliament on behalf of their constituents.  To learn more about the rules on petitions, please visit http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/have-your-say/petitioning/public-petitions or write to the following address.

Clerk of Public Petitions
Journal Office
House of Commons
London   SW1A 0AA

What Can't I Do?

An MP cannot do overrule decisions that are the responsibility of the local council.  These include planning or licensing applications, decisions relating to adult or children's social care, or which roads should be prioritised for resurfacing.  However, your MP can write to the local council on your behalf to ask them to look into a problem or reconsider an issue. In the first instance, constituents should contact their local council or councillor(s) directly.