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How to lobby MPs

Printer-friendly version It is a good idea to lobby constituency MPs and raise the concerns we have with the Bill well in advance of any potential vote by MPs in the coming months. This can be done by:
  1. Visits to the MP’s constituency surgery.

    Face to face visits are the most effective way of communicating the strength of feelings that Christians have about this issue. Usually, MPs have a ‘surgery’ once a week where members of their constituency can go and raise concerns. The following information may help those who want to visit their MPs.

    1. For those who want to confirm who their local MP is, the Parliament website’s ‘Constituency Locata’ is a simple way of doing this:
      http://www.locata.co.uk/commons/

    2. Having found who your MP is, use the helpful Christian Institute service to see how your MP has voted on the Religious Hatred Bill in the past http://www.christian.org.uk/mpvotes.php.

      As a rough guide, if your MP is not a Labour MP, they are unlikely to have voted for the Bill and are not a priority for lobbying though they must be encouraged to resist the Bill in its entirety. If the MP has consistently voted against the Bill (probably a Conservative or LibDem) then there is less need for large numbers of people to visit them. Check the ‘Target MPs’ list to see if your MP is a priority to contact. It would be good to create a ‘steady stream’ of concerned Christians going to MPs’ surgeries. Visits every week by Christians would ensure the MPs realise the strength of feeling and opposition.

    3. From the Parliament website, contact details can be found for all the constituency MPs at http://www.parliament.uk/directories/directories.cfm in order to find out what day of the week their surgery is held, and then make an appointment.

    4. Before going to see an MP the Briefing Note produced by the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship (included in this pack) should be read and used as a basis for the surgery meeting. If the MP concerned is on the ‘Target MP List’ then use should be made of the situation: if the MP has a small majority, the voting power of churches in the constituency could be stressed and if the MP has abstained from previous votes, their unease about the Bill should be developed by highlighting the unforeseen consequences of the Bill.


  2. Writing to MPs

    An alternative way of voicing concerns to MPs is by writing. This can be done by post, by e-mail, or by fax. Again the Briefing Note may be helpful because any correspondence with an MP should be factually accurate, present a clear argument, and show consideration of the issues involved. An Example Letter is also given and can be used to give you an idea of the sort of thing to write. Make letters individual if possible though by focussing on the aspects of the Bill you feel most strongly about. The following websites may be of help:

    1. The http://www.parliament.uk/directories/directories.cfm site can be used to find the postal and e-mail addresses for MPs in their constituencies. All MPs can be reached in Westminster at: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA. The switchboard telephone number is: 020 7219 3000

    2. MPs can be faxed though www.faxyourmp.com

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