Letter to My MP, Monday 18th May 2015 – How do you balance your party’s interests with those of your constituents?

Dear Mel Stride,

firstly congratulations on your being re-elected for another term.

After listening to your answers at a couple of the hustings events in the lead up to the election I have a question which is this;

“How do you as an MP balance representing your constituents with your role as a party whip?”

For example, if your government proposes a rise in the rate of VAT. You stated at a hustings that you are strongly against a rise in this parliament but if such a rise was proposed and your role as a whip is to ensure government support, how would you resolve such a conflict? (Presuming it wasn’t a free vote)

No real reason for choosing VAT, other than it stuck in my mind. I guess in a way it is really a question as to how any MP balances party loyalties with what might actually be best for their constituents.

Yours sincerely,

Rich Mills

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3 thoughts on “Letter to My MP, Monday 18th May 2015 – How do you balance your party’s interests with those of your constituents?

  1. I wonder how Mr Stride will vote if there is a free vote on repeal of the Hunting Act. Even in rural constituencies the weight of public opinion is against a repeal of the Act. I fear Mr Stride would represent the few rather than the many on this issue. As will many Tory MPs. Their social set trump their constituents every time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. good question and one which I may put to him. I’m not aware they’ve suggested a timescale for this yet but it’s definitely something which needs asking. also would like to know if it would be a free vote or whipped

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  3. Here’s the reply (verbatim) I received from Mel Stride. I’ve asked Mel if he minds my publishing of this but while I await a reply to that request I see no real harm in sharing it. Great answer in my opinion.

    Dear Rich

    Thank you for your email regarding my role as a Minister in the Government Whips Office.

    Like all Government Ministers, I am able to vote whichever way I wish on any division but would be expected to resign if I broke with the convention of collective responsibility that applies to all Ministers including at Cabinet level.
    Whilst the Whips Office is responsible for ensuring that Government business gets through Parliament, one of our key roles is to sound out the views of MPs and making sure that the Prime Minister is clear on where they stand. Good MPs listen to what their constituents tell them and this in turn is fed back into the heart of Government, in part by the Whips Office.
    I pay close attention to the concerns of my constituents, and always take them on board and bear them in mind as issues are being discussed. Indeed, I receive a wide range of varying and often conflicting opinions on different topics from my constituents, with some being supportive and others opposing the stance I take on Government legislation.

    Please be assured that I continue to speak up and represent my constituents in Westminster in many other ways including through direct contact with other Ministers.
    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    With best wishes
    Mel

    Mel Stride
    Minister, Govt Whips Office
    MP for Central Devon

    Liked by 1 person

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