When raising an issue with your local MP, it is important to make sure you convey your message effectively and professionally. Unless you do this, your aims stand little chance of success.
MPs receive hundreds of emails each day. Some of those emails can be rambling in nature and may fail to get to the point. Some may be too aggressive in their tone. And some may be downright abusive.
At a time when MPs’ safety has been thrust to the forefront of political debate, it is important for us to pause and remember that whatever we think of an individual MP’s politics, they are still a human being who is worthy of the respect that everyone deserves.
Abusive discourse has no place in civil society - and certainly not in political addresses.
Yes, politics is certainly not free from abuse and aggression, but this ought to inspire all of us to make a concerted effort to ensure that we are embedding respect into our everyday political communications. Not only will this be more conducive to a productive dialogue, but it is also the right thing to do.
Using our unique Hey MP tool, you can craft a bespoke email or social media message to your MP in under two minutes on any of the issues we at Best for Britain are campaigning about.
Nevertheless, we recognise that many people prefer to write their own email, and of course will have other priorities beyond Best for Britain’s campaigning remit. So, without further ado, here are some quick tips to help guide you in your email endeavours - so that you can be as successful in your communications with MPs as possible.
- Engage your MP. Start with a short statement or punchy sentence which sums up the issue you’re writing about. Keep this statement direct and to-the-point.
- Keep your email concise. Stick to the one issue and make sure you’re arguing your case in every sentence. Check through afterwards for any sentences that seem superfluous.
- Explain what your desired outcome is. Even if you don’t quite know what your MP can do to make a difference, explaining what you’d like to see happen is a good way for that MP to think of actions they can take.
Always be polite and respectful, even if you disagree with that MP or their party. Going a step further and mentioning what you like about that MP or their party’s actions so far on your issue (even if there’s not loads to say) is no bad thing. It’s just part of the diplomacy that is employed to great ends in positive political discourse around the world.
- Question, don’t state. Questions are more likely to get an answer. Statements are more likely to receive a less engaged reply. Get the MP to really engage in a dialogue with you.
- End by asking for a specific response or action. Ask your MP to commit to something or to explain something. They might not give you an answer you like but they do have to consider your request.
- And finally...include your postcode! MPs will usually respond only to their own constituents so they need to know where you live. If there is a relevant minister that you think your query would be better directed towards, you could mention the minister in your email. Your MP may be happy to refer your query to them.
Why should you write to your MP?
All robust democracies ought to allow ordinary citizens to have access to and communicate with elected representatives who hold positions of political power.
In the UK, the ability for people to speak to their local MP is a cornerstone of our democratic system and a crucial way of ensuring ordinary voices and messages are heard in the corridors of power.
Even if your local MP is part of the party or Government pushing through a policy that you disagree with, it is still very much worth writing to them on that issue. The fundamental nature of an MP’s role is to listen to their constituents. Even if they have to toe the party line, they may be able to introduce amendments to a bill that alleviate some of its negative effects - and that could be as a result of lobbying by concerned constituents.
Like all of us, MPs are human. They may have strong convictions, but they are also liable to change their minds. It is certainly possible for the arguments put forward by a constituent to make an MP take a different stand on an issue - and even if they don’t, don’t let this put you off. Just by hearing about your issue or concern, an MP will have it on their radar and be obliged to consider it. MPs talk to each other - and if they discuss your concern with their colleagues, this may help your thoughts gain wider traction.
Taking any democratic action is hugely important, however small it may seem on the surface.
Best for Britain has created a digital tool that helps you send messages to your MP by email or on social media. Hey-MP.uk links you to your MP using your postcode and then allows you to open template messages that we have tailored to your MP about the issues we are campaigning on.
Hey-MP.uk is different to other 'write to your MP' tools because it opens messages in your own email account rather than sending messages on your behald. This means messages sent by Hey-MP.uk are harder for MPs to filter or block, and they look more personal. You can edit or change any part of the message before clicking send.