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Explain how MPs can carry out their representative role

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Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Explain how MPs can carry out their representative role. [16] The House of Commons is made up of 650 MPs. These MPs are directly elected by the people at general elections. This gives them the authority to rule. There is one MP representing each of the UK?s 650 constituencies, including Alasdair McDonnell who represents South Belfast and even the Prime Minister David Cameron, who represents Witney. A political representative should reflect the wishes and views of the voter and usually reflect the social background of their constituency. A 2006 survey conducted by the Hansard Society found that MPs worked an average of 71 hours a week, compared with 62 in 1982. They are more connected to their constituencies than ever. A record 40 percent of MPs time is spent on constituency issues, and 90% of them say that their constituency is more important to them than party or national interests. ...read more.


Some MPs (such as the PM and members of the government) may have difficulty representing their constituents effectively due to the demands on their time. Others, such as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, might be restricted in what they can say due to the nature of their jobs. MPs can make confidential enquiries with officials or a government minister on constituents? behalf. They can also refer individual cases to be investigated by the Parliamentary Ombudsman. If they agree to support a cause, they may also choose to raise it publicly in the House of Commons ? through questions, debates, motions or amendments. MPs may also try to raise your problem in the short Adjournment Debates, which are usually the last business of the day in the House and are also held in the mornings in Westminster Hall. There will be competition amongst MPs for the right to raise matters on adjournment and they must be successful in a ballot or have their subject chosen by the Speaker. ...read more.


Such financial links are legitimate and no money goes into the MP?s own pockets. In terms of representing the social background of their constituents, the percentage of female, ethnic minority, young or gay MPs in parliament is rising. UK MPs are now more representative of the wider public in this sense than ever before. For example, Labour MP Imran Hussain represents Bradford East, an area with a lot of ethnic minorities. This means he will have a better understanding of his constituency and will be able to represent them well. To conclude, MPs should always seek to represent their constituents by whatever means possible, although this is not always possible. This has been the predominate interpretation of an MP?s representative role for over two centuries, since Edmund Burke set out his views in a speech to his Bristol voters in 1774: ?Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgement; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.? ...read more.

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