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, whether they voted for them at the General Election or not. They are only able to deal with issues raised by people who live in their constituency, called constituents.

MPs consider and vote on legislation and use their position to ask government ministers questions about current issues.

They split their time between working in Parliament and working in the constituency. In Parliament, MPs spend their time fighting for the interests of their constituents, attending debates, scrutinising and voting on legislation, and attending meetings. In the constituency, MPs hold advice surgeries for their constituents to come and talk to them about local issues and problems, attend meetings and community events, as well as visiting local organisations and businesses.

Members of Parliament are able to help with all matters for which Parliament or central government is responsible -


Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy


Tel: 020 7215 5000

The department brings together responsibilities for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation, energy and climate change.


Department for Communities & Local Government


Tel: 030 3444 0000

The department's job is to create great places to live and work and to give more power to local people to shape what happens in their area.


Department for Culture, Media and Sport


Tel: 020 7211 6000

The department is here to help make Britain the world's most creative and exciting place to live, visit and do business. We protect and promote our cultural and artistic heritage and help businesses and communities grow by investing in innovation and highlighting Britain as a fantastic place to visit. We help to give the UK a unique advantage in the global race for economic success.


Department for Education


Tel: 0370 000 2288

The department is responsible for children’s services and education, including higher and further education policy, apprenticeships and wider skills in England. The department is also home to the Government Equalities Office. We work to provide children’s services and education that ensure opportunity is equal for all, no matter what their background or family circumstances.


Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs


Tel: 03459 33 55 77

The department is responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our world-leading food and farming industry, and sustaining a thriving rural economy. Our broad remit means we play a major role in people's day-to-day life, from the food we eat, and the air we breathe, to the water we drink.


Department for Exiting the European Union


Tel: 020 7276 0432

The department responsible for overseeing negotiations to leave the EU and establishing the future relationship between the UK and EU.


Department for International Development


Tel: 020 7023 0000

The department leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty. We are tackling the global challenges of our time including poverty and disease, mass migration, insecurity and conflict. Our work is building a safer, healthier, more prosperous world for people in developing countries and in the UK too.


Department for International Trade


Tel: 020 7215 5000

The department is responsible for promoting British trade across the world and ensuring the UK takes advantage of the huge opportunities open to us.


Department for Transport


Tel: 0300 330 3000

The department works with its agencies and partners to support the transport network that helps the UK’s businesses and gets people and goods travelling around the country. It plans and invests in transport infrastructure to keep the UK on the move.


Department for Work & Pensions


Email: ministers@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

The department is responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy. As the UK’s biggest public service department it administers the State Pension and a range of working age, disability and ill health benefits to over 22 million claimants and customers.


Department of Health


Tel: 0207 210 4850

The department helps people to live better for longer. We lead, shape and fund health and care in England, making sure people have the support, care and treatment they need, with the compassion, respect and dignity they deserve.


Foreign & Commonwealth Office


Tel: 020 7008 1500

The FCO promotes the United Kingdom's interests overseas, supporting our citizens and businesses around the globe.


HM Treasury


Tel: 020 7270 5000

HM Treasury is the government’s economic and finance ministry, maintaining control over public spending, setting the direction of the UK’s economic policy and working to achieve strong and sustainable economic growth.


Home Office


Tel: 020 7035 4848

The first duty of the government is to keep citizens safe and the country secure. The Home Office has been at the front line of this endeavour since 1782. As such, the Home Office plays a fundamental role in the security and economic prosperity of the United Kingdom.


Ministry of Defence


Tel: 020 7218 9000

The MoD protects the security, independence and interests of our country at home and abroad. We work with our allies and partners whenever possible. Our aim is to ensure that the armed forces have the training, equipment and support necessary for their work, and that we keep within budget.


Ministry of Justice


Tel: 020 3334 3555

The MoJ works to protect the public and reduce reoffending, and to provide a more effective, transparent and responsive criminal justice system for victims and the public.


Northern Ireland Office


Tel: 028 90 520700

The NIO ensures the smooth working of the devolution settlement in Northern Ireland.


Office of the Advocate General for Scotland


Tel: +44 (0)131 244 0359

The Office of the Advocate General (OAG) is the UK government's Scottish legal team. We provide legal advice, drafting and litigation services to the UK government in relation to Scotland. We also support the Advocate General in his role as a Law Officer.


Office of the Leader of the House Commons


Tel: 020 7276 1005

The Office provides support to the Leader of the House of Commons, who is responsible for planning and supervising the government’s legislative programme (including the Queen’s speech), and managing government business within the House of Commons while also upholding the rights and interests of the backbench members of the House.


Office of the Leader of the House of Lords


Tel: 020 7219 3200

The Office supports the Leader of the House of Lords. The Leader of the House is appointed by the Prime Minister, attends Cabinet and is responsible for the conduct of government business in the Lords. The Leader advises the House on procedure and order, and she and her office are available to assist and advise all members of the House.


Office of the Secretary of State for Wales / Swyddfa Ysgrifennydd Gwladol Cymru


Tel: 020 7270 6137

The Wales Office supports the Secretary of State for Wales in promoting the best interests of Wales within a stronger United Kingdom. It ensures Welsh interests are fully and effectively represented at the heart of the UK Government, and the UK Government’s responsibilities are fully and effectively represented in Wales.


Scotland Office


Tel: 0131 244 9010

The Scotland Office supports the Secretary of State for Scotland in promoting the best interests of Scotland within a stronger United Kingdom. It ensures Scottish interests are fully and effectively represented at the heart of the UK Government, and the UK Government’s responsibilities are fully and effectively represented in Scotland.


UK Export Finance


Tel: 020 7271 8010

UKEF's mission is to ensure that no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance, while operating at no net cost to the taxpayer.


Oral or written questions

Once a month each minister 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. MPs can also table a written question to the relevant Government department, which are published in Hansard. http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/

Adjournment Debate

MPs may be able to raise a constituent's issue in a half-hour Adjournment Debate. To get an adjournment debate, MPs must be successful in a ballot of Members of Parliament or have the subject chosen by the Speaker. The debates are usually the last business of the day 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. For more information or guidance, please contact -

Clerk of Public Petitions Journal Office House of Commons London SW1A 0AA


MPs do not have any jurisdiction over local Council decisions. However, they can write to a local Council and ask them to look into a problem or to reconsider an issue. In the first instance, constituents should contact their local Council or Councillor.