Labour MP not doing surgeries for constituents? Then Laura Gordon will

Scandal hit MP for Sheffield Hallam, Jared O’Mara (elected as Labour, now suspended) has cancelled his surgeries for local residents.

These are the opportunities which constituents have to raise an issue with an MP in person. Often for sensitive issues, seeing someone face-to-face is exactly what people want, need and have a right to expect. Correspondence isn’t a substitute, which is why it is so exceptionally rare to come across an MP who won’t meet their constituents in this way.

But that’s not stopped Jared O’Mara. In response, the recently selected Liberal Democrat candidate for Sheffield Hallam, Laura Gordon, is putting on her own surgeries:

Laura Gordon surgeries in Sheffield Hallam

Great though Laura Gordon’s initiative is, it’s worth reflecting that even with her efforts the constituents of Sheffield Hallam can’t get a full service. That’s because various organisations deliberately treat quicker or better requests for help that come their way via an MP. Prioritising an issue where an MP has got involved makes obvious sense for an organisation. It has some debatable side-effects, but whether you agree therefore that it’s right or wrong, it’s also fact. Which means that when an MP isn’t doing their job with constituents, then however much someone else tries to fill the gap, constituents suffer.*

So well done, Laura Gordon, but crikey – it’s a remarkably bad move by┬áJared O’Mara MP.

* It’s why, to digress completely, the increasing pattern of MPs doing maternity/paternity/sick leave cover for their colleagues is a trend to be very much welcomed. It means constituents don’t suffer and we don’t force MPs to have to have absurd working practices to avoid that.

2 responses to “Labour MP not doing surgeries for constituents? Then Laura Gordon will”

  1. Maybe we should do it in other constituencies where MPs are not offering good service. Our sitting Labour MP, Katherine West, has a 30 000 majority, but her case work is of poor quality even though she is warm in person. Her staff treat clients as a burden to be taken off one’s shoulders as quickly as possible. People only get trite replies with useless advice, no more (patronisingly stating the obvious at which her office excels is particularly galling for the clients who have already been from pillar to post and we as the main opposition get them coming to us to complain).
    But our candidate would need help from other sitting MPs to be able to offer better case work than the sitting MP is providing – like the maternity cover. Something on those lines.
    However, if my anecdotal evidence is anything to go by, there are few votes in case work. A mother of two disabled children, fobbed off by the council, by the MP, by everyone, was deeply moved by our willingness to listen and help. The case took a few days. She was very grateful. And regretful – that they were Labour voters; if only they had not been she would have voted Lib Dems out of gratitude.

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