MPs and constituency etiquette

There was a Point of Order in the Commons last week about the need for Members to inform the local MP when visiting her/his constituency.  You can see the Point of Order and the response by the Deputy Speaker here.

On a related topic there is a Standard Note (last updated in January 2012) entitled Members and constituency etiquette which covers that issue as well as some others. It is SN/PC/02028 by Richard Kelly. Click here to read it.

W4MP also has a guide which starts with this question: Should I be representing this constituent? S/he doesn’t live in my constituency but has asked for our help.” You can read the W4MP guide here.

None of the advice available manages to be entirely clear about the rules but, if in doubt, we still feel that our advice below is the best guide:

There is an oft-quoted “strict parliamentary protocol” that MPs do not pursue issues raised by or about constituents of other MPs. Our view on this has always been: “In the absence of any very clear definition of this protocol, you should use common sense and refer any matter concerning someone who is not your constituent to his or her own MP.”

There you are; that’s your Christmas/New Year homework sorted for you!