What can an MP do?

Members of Parliament are elected to the House of Commons to represent the interests and concerns of all the people who live in their constituency. MPs slso consider and vote on legislation and ask Government ministers questions about current issues.

MPs spend their time fighting for the interests of their constituents, attending debates, scrutinising and voting on legislation, and attending meetings.  Andrew was elected to serve on two influential Select Committees - who meet at least once a week whilst Parliament is sitting.  Select Committees work on a cross-party basis checking and reporting on areas ranging from the work of government departments to economic affairs. The results of these inquiries are published and made public and they usually require a response from the government  The Committees Andrew served on were the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee and the Public Administration Select Committee.

Advice surgeries every week when Parliament is sitting and during recesses give Islanders the opportunity to come and talk about national or local issues and problems, During the dissolution of Parliament (until 7th May 2015) there are no MPs until after the General Election, but  you can still contact Andrew on 522404 if you need any help or advice.

Some people think that MPs can help them sort out all their problems, sadly that is not the case.  MPs are unable to settle private disputes with neighbours or employers, nor can they help in family arguments. Nor can an MP interfere with decisions made in court or offer legal advice.

Members of Parliament are able to help with all matters for which Parliament or central government is responsible.  Some matters are the responsibility of the Isle of Wight Council and the MP has no authority over them, however if you do have problems I will always try to help sort them out, even during the dissolution of Parliament when there are no MPs.

This is a list of the various Departments with website details and telephone numbers.  Currently all departments are moving their websites to a single demain .gov.uk - so you may find some of the links below redirect you to the new website.

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills http://www.bis.gov.uk/ Tel: 020 7215 5000

Responsible for Government policy on business, trade, enterprise, universities, further education and science.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport http://www.culture.gov.uk/ Tel: 020 7211 6000

Responsible for Government policy on culture, the arts, media, gambling, the national lottery, sport and the Olympics.

Foreign Office http: //www.fco.gov.uk/ Tel: 020 7008 1500

Responsible for Government policy on foreign affairs and diplomacy. The Foreign Office is also responsible for Consular services, travel advice and sanctions implemented by the UK.

Home Office http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/ Tel: 020 7035 4745

Responsible for Government policy on crime, the police, counter terrorism, alcohol, drugs, immigration and passports.

Department for Defence http://www.mod.uk/ Tel: 020 7218 9000

Responsible for Government policy on all defence issues.

Department for Education http://www.education.gov.uk/ Tel: 0370 000 2288

Responsible for Government policy on schools in England, children, young people, families, education and training for 16 to 19 year olds, school standards and teacher training.

Department for Energy and Climate Change http://www.decc.gov.uk/ Tel: 0300 060 4000

Responsible for Government policy on energy and climate change.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs http://www.defra.gov.uk/ Tel: 08459 33 55 77

Responsible for Government policy on the natural environment, food, farming, fisheries, animal health and welfare, rural communities and environmental protection.

Department of Health http://www.dh.gov.uk/ Tel: 020 7210 4850

Responsible for Government policy on Health and provides strategic leadership for public health, the NHS and social care in England.

Department for International Development http://www.dfid.gov.uk/ Tel: 0845 300 4100

Responsible for Government policy on international development and foreign aid.

Ministry of Justice http://www.justice.gov.uk/ Tel: 020 3334 3555

Responsible for Government policy on the Courts, the Probation Service and Prisons.

Department for Transport http://www.dft.gov.uk/ Tel: 0300 330 3000

Responsible for Government policy on aviation, roads, rail and shipping

HM Treasury http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/ Tel: 020 7270 5000

Responsible for Government policy on economics, finance and taxation

Department for Work and Pensions http://www.dwp.gov.uk/

Responsible for Government policy on welfare and pension policy, including pensions, the child support agency and job centres.

Department for Communities and Local Government http://www.communities.gov.uk Tel: 0303 444 0000

Responsible for building regulations, community cohesion, decentralisation, fire services and resilience, housing, local government, planning, race equality, the Thames Gateway and urban regeneration.

When a constituent writes to their MP, they will write to the relevant department or official or the Minister involved. Many problems are solved in this way.

Alternatively, if a constituent is happy for the issue to be made public, an MP can ask an oral or written question, secure a debate or petition Parliament.

Oral or written questions

Once a month Ministers from each government department answer questions from MPs at the Dispatch Box. There is a limit to the number of questions that can be asked.  All MPs who want to ask a question go into a ballot and those who are successful appear on the order paper.  MPs can sometimes ask a supplementary question to another MPs question, but it must be closely linked to the original question..

Adjournment Debate

MPs may be able to raise local issues in a half-hour Adjournment Debate or hold a debate in Westminster Hall, the secondary debating chamber. To get a debate, MPs must be successful in a ballot  or have the subject chosen by the Speaker. Adjournment debates are usually the last business of the day in the main House of Commons chamber and a government minister responds at the end of the debate.


Members of Parliament can present a petition to Parliament on behalf of their constituents. The format and wording of the petition need to be in a particular way in order for it to be accepted. For more information or guidance, please contact me on 530808 or mail@islandmp.org-

Isle of Wight Council

MPs do not have any jurisdiction or authority over local councillors or their decisions and you should contact your local councillor if you have a problem that is the responsibility of the Isle of Wight Council . However, if you encounter any problems I will always try to help sort them out.  I can write to the Council and ask them to look into a problem or to reconsider an issue.