By Shaid Ayoub & Sajid Iqbal
In this regular section The Revival will argue why you should not just know your MP, be aware of what he or she is actually doing.... but give 'em hell!
It’s YOUR MPs job to represent YOUR views. No MP today can ignore the Muslim voters. So make sure YOUR MP knows what YOUR views are!
Now if you keep in contact with your MP and inform them of the issues that concern you, then it could make all the difference in influencing what issues your MP decides to focus on. This is especially true when MPs are entering parliament for the first time.
Finding out about your MP
So who's your MP? Ermmmm… ain't got a clue? Wakey, wakey...you can't complain your MP is doing jack if you don't even know him or her! You get my drift?
OK. It's time for some action. FIRST STEP:
To find out who your MP is, what their party position is on the issues you would like to raise, the position they may hold in government or their party and their general background then you can always get this by phoning the House of Commons information desk on 020 7219 4272 or by visiting:
You can write to your MP at:
House of Commons,
What you can ask your MP to do?
MPs receive an average £118,437 a year in expenses and allowances, excluding salary! Oh yeah!! They're stinking rich...so are you gonna let them get away with doing didley skwot? Make them work HARD for their money!
So here goes. SECOND STEP:
There are zillions of ways in which you can bring an issue to your MPs attention both using the channels inside of the Westminster process (parliament) or by using external pressure such as campaigning. Check this out:
- You can get your MP to do this for you:
- Ask a written or oral parliamentary question (PQ)
- Initiate a short debate in the House of Commons
- Speak in a government debate
- Sign an early day motion (EDM) showing support for a particular issue or campaign
- Table an amendment to a bill
- Vote for or against an amendment to a bill
- Propose a private member's or ten minute rule bill
- Join the parliamentary human rights group
- Write to a minister - MPs will receive a response from a minister whilst a member of the public may only receive a letter from a civil servant. The more letters that a minister receives from MPs, the more their attention will be drawn to your concern. For example, an MP may send a cover letter along with your letter to the Foreign Secretary.
- Get your MP out and about and open their eyes to the real issues that concern you!They can do the following for you:
- Speak at a meeting/conference on human rights - at Westminster, their party conference.
- Participate in local events in the constituency, for example:
- sign/receive a petition
- speak at a meeting
- join in a fund-raising event
- Help with publicity - most MPs will be keen to get an article in the local press showing that they care about human rights.
- Campaign with you on behalf of your prisoner, for example:
- lead a delegation to the relevant embassy
- write to the prisoner's government
- deliver a petition to the relevant embassy
Third Step. Making Contact with your MP
OK, now that you know who your MP is, how you can get hold of him/ her and what they can do for you. THIRD STEP: Now is the time to write to them.
You could write a letter, fax or email your local MP on the issues that you want to raise.
- Identify yourself as a constituent, meaning you are a voter in the area that they are standing as an MP.
- Keep the letter brief but do enclose any relevant reports.
- Be clear about what you are asking your MP to do.
- Request a reply.
Fourth Step. Meeting your MP in person
If you really wanna give your MP hell and see if they are doing anything for you then go and see them face to face!
Most MPs hold a surgery for constituents each Friday, or sometimes on Saturdays. Call their office to find out where this surgery is held and whether or not you need to book a specific time.
Know Your Muslim MP'S!
Now we have 4 Muslim MPs in power- hooray! Make sure they are active and deal with your concerns. Contact them:
Khalid Mahmood, MP
Labour - Birmingham Perry Barr constituency
- Tel: 020 7219 8141
1 George Street
Tel: 0121 569 1937
Mohammad Sarwar, MP
Labour - Glasgow Govan
- Tel: 020 7219 5024/0547
Fax: 020 7219 5898
247 Paisley Road West
Tel: 0141 427 5938
Shahid Malik. MP
Labour - Constituency: Dewsbury (no information available)
Tel: 020 7219 3000
Sadiq Khan, MP
Labour - Constituency: Tooting.
To contact your MP: By telephone: 020 7219 3000 (House of Commons Switchboard - ask for your Member's Office) By letter: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Know your MP. Contact them. Keep a track on what they have been doing throughout the year.
Every week, a dozen or so times, your MP votes in the UK parliament. This is their crucial, visible exercise of power. www.publicwhip.org.uk checks their voting record to help you hold them to account.