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An MP's duty to their constituents.

An MP's duty to their constituents.

Postby Hairyloon » Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:54 pm

Under normal circumstances an MP should respond to a letter from their constituent, but do they have any obligation to?
I think we have discussed here before where a constituent might harangue their representative, and in those circumstances it becomes quite reasonable for the MP to start ignoring them, but even there, are there not certain duties?
For example, if he has a complaint about a ministry and wants to take that complaint up with the ombudsman, then the normal practice is to do so through the MP.
In that instance, if the MP is ignoring the constituent, how is he to proceed with the complaint?
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Re: An MP's duty to their constituents.

Postby dls » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:11 pm

no such duty
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Re: An MP's duty to their constituents.

Postby Hairyloon » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:24 pm

dls wrote:no such duty

There may be no obligation, but I think there is a duty, certainly in respect of things that are expected to be done through the MP.
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Re: An MP's duty to their constituents.

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:26 pm

A moral obligation, perhaps, but not a duty in the legal sense.
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Re: An MP's duty to their constituents.

Postby Hairyloon » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:35 pm

Smouldering Stoat wrote:A moral obligation, perhaps, but not a duty in the legal sense.

Yes, that is what I meant.
But this still leaves the question of (for example) a complaint to the ombudsman, which should go through the MP.
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Re: An MP's duty to their constituents.

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:38 pm

It has to be referred by an MP. But it is clearly not intended that an MP should be expected to refer every complaint they receive, otherwise there would be no point in requiring referral from an MP at all.
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Re: An MP's duty to their constituents.

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:58 am

Smouldering Stoat wrote:It has to be referred by an MP. But it is clearly not intended that an MP should be expected to refer every complaint they receive, otherwise there would be no point in requiring referral from an MP at all.

I am a little lost as to the reason why an MP needs to be involved, but I do not write the rules. If it is to decide if the complaint is worth looking at, then what is the purpose of the ombudsman? And in any case, what qualifies an MP to judge on this point?

I surmise that the reason for the requirement is to ensure that the MP is alerted to the problem: these are not everyday complaints we are talking about.
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