May 25th, 2011
Arranging meetings with MPs: hints and tips
By 38 Degrees team
Some 38 Degrees members have asked for some tips on how to persuade their MPs to meet them. Every member of an MP’s constituency has the right to meet them and talk to them about the issues they care about, so don’t worry about requesting a meeting!
We’ve asked a few people who’ve successfully arranged meetings – here are their tips:
– Remember to be constructive – MPs are more likely to respond to positive messages
– Use the phone: MPs get lots of emails and it’s often easier to arrange meetings over the phone than in writing
– Be polite but persistent: most MPs’ offices are busy places, so it’s possible that a phone message could get mislaid or overlooked
– Tell your MP that several local 38 Degrees members will probably come along so it could be a good opportunity for them to meet several local voters at once
– The meeting could also be a good chance to generate some local media coverage for them, which is usually something that MPs like!
– Remind your MP that the NHS is an issue that lots of people care about, both as a national debate but also because of local decisions about hospitals and GP surgeries. It’s much better to talk to people about it than try to avoid the conversation completely
– If your MP still refuses to meet, then ask them to put their reasons in writing. That will give you a chance to think about the best steps, as well as something to show to other 38 Degrees members in your area to explain why a meeting hasn’t happened yet
If you have any more suggestions please post them on the comments feed below, or you can read more about how to set up an NHS petition MP hand-in here. And please remember that because 38 Degrees is a non-party political organisation, if you represent a political party (for example, if you’re a local councillor, or hold a position within a local party group), you shouldn’t sign up to host an event.