Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What do MPs do?
A. MPs have responsibilities to three main groups: their constituents, Parliament and their political party. MPs’ duties in Parliament include participating in debates and voting on legislation and other matters. They may also be members of committees examining new laws or the work of government departments. Some have a role as a minister in government or spokesperson in opposition.
MPs can help their constituents by advising on problems (particularly those that arise from the work of government departments), representing the concerns of their constituents in Parliament and acting as a figurehead for the local area. MPs usually support their party by voting with its leadership in the House of Commons and acting as a representative for the party in their constituency.
Q. How can I find out who my MP is?
A. The easiest way to check which constituency you live in is to use the MP Finder Tool on the UK Parliament website. Simply enter your postcode and the site will tell you who your MP is. If you have any queries, you can contact the House of Commons Information Office on 020 7219 4272.
Q. I want to come to an advice surgery. Do I need to book an appointment?
A. There is no need to make an appointment as my surgeries operate on a first-come, first-served basis. On arrival you will be asked to take a number and I will see people in order.
Q. When and where is your next surgery?
A. I usually hold two surgeries every month (except during August). Details of upcoming surgeries are available on the Contact & Surgeries page.
Q. How can I find out how you voted on certain issues?
A. If you would like to find out more about my voting record, the website Public Whip is a good place to start. For more information on what I’ve been saying in Parliament, see the In Parliament page or search the Commons Hansard, which is a full record of all parliamentary business.
Q. Does your role as a whip have a negative impact on the amount you can do for your constituents?
A. The only thing my role as a whip regularly prevents me from doing is adding my name to Early Day Motions. I do understand that this is sometimes frustrating for constituents, but unfortunately it’s the same for all whips and shadow front bench MPs. I am always happy to look at tabling written questions or writing to ministers as an alternative.
Other than that, I do not feel that my role as a whip has a negative impact on my ability to represent my constituents in the Commons. My Lewisham Deptford team are totally separate from the Opposition Whips Office so my work there does not add any extra burden to them.
Sometimes my whip role involves acting as a teller for a vote in Parliament. This means that my name will not appear in the main list of voters as technically we do not vote, but we always act for the side we are supporting. Please see here for a full explanation.
Q. I’m holding an event and would like to invite you. What’s the best way to get in touch?
A. You can send your invitation by post to Vicky Foxcroft MP, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. I am looking for a job working for an MP – do you have any vacancies?
A. I am not looking to employ any more staff at the moment, but any future vacancies will be advertised on the W4MP website.
Q. Can I come and do work experience in your office?
A. I will always consider requests for work experience from constituents who have a genuine interest in politics. However, the decision to accept or decline requests will depend on my schedule and those of my staff. We want to make sure your experience is worthwhile, which may not always be possible during busy periods.
Q. Can you arrange for me to go on a tour of Parliament?
A. My staff and I are happy to arrange guided tours for constituents. Please bear in mind that the tours are very popular, so early booking (preferably three to six months in advance) is advised, particularly for larger parties. More information is available on the Visit Parliament page.
Q. How can I watch a House of Commons debate?
A. MPs are allocated a small number of Public Gallery tickets each month which they may pass on to constituents who would like to watch a debate in the House of Commons. Alternatively, if there is a specific date on which you would like to visit, we may be able to obtain further tickets (subject to availability). See the Visit Parliament page for further details.
You can also watch televised footage of debates and Select Committee meetings on Parliament TV or the BBC Parliament channel.
Q. How can I get tickets for Prime Minister’s Questions?
A. Each MP is allocated three pairs of tickets for PMQs per year. There is often a great deal of demand for tickets, but we will always do our best to accommodate requests from constituents where possible. See the Visit Parliament page for further details.