Explain how MPs can carry out their representative role

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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. This compares favourably with 50 years ago when MPs rarely lived in their constituencies and seldom visited them.

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As elected representatives of a constituency, MPs have the responsibility to represent all members of their constituency. There are numerous ways in which MPs can do this. Most, if not all, MPs will meet their constituents on a regular basis in a “surgery” to provide advice and to receive representations. People can contact their MP if they feel they have been treated unfairly by a Government office or agency, there is a problem in the local area or to ask MPs to support a particular campaign they are interested in.  If an MP is asked to support something that conflicts ...

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