As we’ve already stated, large numbers of MPs have not even bothered to answer one simple question and that is: Are you FOR or AGAINST the closures of maritime rescue and co-ordination centres. i.e. Coastguard Stations.
They have been sent three e-mails now and have also been contacted by their own constituents. Via Twitter too, if they’re on the site. We’ve been trying to ascertain whether or not MPs have a duty to respond to their constituents and the frightening thing is, it appears not! Most of us would consider it common courtesy to reply to a question, but apparently this does not apply to MPs. This is what we found:
Writing to your MP greatly increases your likelihood of receiving a response. The vast majority of MPs will almost always respond to letters from constituents and will be happy to forward your request on to the relevant Minister (even if they disagree with you). In turn, the Minister will be obliged by Parliamentary convention to respond to letters from an MP.It is important that you contact your own MP as there is an unwritten rule (known as a convention) in Parliament that MPs deal only with the problems of their own constituents and not with those of another MPs constituents.
Whenever you send MPs an email you get an auto response stating that they can only deal with constituents concerns but as we have said previously, if we email / write to other MPs on a campaign basis such as this I think it is not appropriate that they say that they cannot address the specific issues that we are raising because we are speaking from a national point of view. Of all the contact made with MPs throughout this process, only one female MP (the name escapes me) recently stated that we would have to write to her if we were a constituent. ………. At the end of the day the proof of an MP’s ability to be able to respond to the question without breaking parliamentary code is on the website for all to see from those who have already responded. if they are breaking rules then there will be a lot of MPs in hot water so we know that we are on safe ground making these approaches. ……… As was said earlier, some MPs, such as my own. just ignore correspondence.
Sir Stuart Bell
G S Brown
A M Morris
Ian Paisley Jnr
Robert H Smith
There will be a loss of life if the closures go ahead and these MPs will be culpable, along the Mike Penning and David Cameron. Thank you for reading this and thank you for you help. Oh, and please do let us know what happens!
Written by Lynne Gray