Who should I contact with my issue?
MPs and members of the Lords can usually only help with issues that are the responsibility of the UK Parliament. Often the right person to contact will be a local councillor, the Citizens Advice or an ombudsman. Depending on the issue, if you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you may need to contact your MSPs, MSs or MLAs.
When should I contact someone else first?
MPs can offer advice and assistance on matters for which the UK Parliament is responsible, such as pensions, benefits, UK-wide tax and national insurance, immigration issues, energy, defence, and data protection. In England and Wales they can also help with justice issues and, in England only, with the NHS, education and transport.
MPs cannot interfere in court decisions and are unlikely to be able to help with private disputes.
Some issues are not the direct responsibility of UK Parliament or the UK government. In these instances, you should first contact either your local council or your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau before considering contacting your MP.
These are issues such as:
- council tax
- private problems with neighbours, landlords, employers, family; or companies who have sold you faulty goods
- decisions made by the courts
- issues that are the responsibility of your local council such as refuse collections or street repairs.
The Scottish Parliament deals with matters that have been devolved by the Westminster Parliament. Your MSP - Member of the Scottish Parliament - can help you if you have concerns about matters such as health services, education, justice and transport.
Your Member of the Senedd Cymru (MS) - or Welsh Parliament - can help you if you are concerned about issues such as health and social care, education, transport and rural development.
MLAs - Members of the Legislative Assembly - can help you if you have concerns about matters such as policing and justice, health and social care, tourism and trade and investment.
When you should contact the government
If, for example, you have a question about government policies on the pensions, this should be directed to the government department that deals with that subject - in this case, the Department for Work and Pensions.
Contacting a government minister
If you wish to contact a government minister in connection to their ministerial responsibilities, please contact them at their government department rather than contacting their parliamentary office.