Some MPs rightly get annoyed when the press and public talk about Parliamentary recess being “holiday” for they continue to work hard in their constituencies during recess.
Labour’s MP for Tottenham David Lammy (aka the man who got away over his expenses thanks to his second home claims coming out before the media got interested in the topic), however, is just the sort of MP who gives those others a bad name.
Here is what he emailed residents on 12th July:
Due to the parliamentary recess, my next advice surgery will be on Friday 13th September.
If you want to see your MP during those two months? Tough. By contrast, the borough’s other MP, Lynne Featherstone, is continuing holding surgeries for constituents throughout the recess, including in August. People don’t stop needing help over the summer – and MPs shouldn’t stop helping.
Mind you, all in all David Lammy’s attitude towards constituents is hardly one of being keen to help them. Take a look at some of the many, many caveats he lists on his website.
There is the usual, and reasonable, point about how MPs can only take up cases from their constituents. But then there is much more, including:
David is not able to help with the following:
- Disputes between private individuals and employers
- Disputes between individuals and a private company
- Ongoing legal cases and overturning decisions made by the courts
Tough on any employees who think their firm is breaking the law and wants their MP to help out. That’s a no from David Lammy.
No luck either if you are unhappy with a firm that has been contracted to run public services and you are in dispute with them. That’s a no again from David Lammy.
The list could go on and on.
And woe betides anyone with a housing issue:
If you have any housing enquiries, you MUST first contact one of your local Councillors.
But even if you do get help, it won’t be quick coming:
David and his team aim to deal with all cases within 20 working days but some cases may take longer.
(Again, contrast that with Lynne Featherstone and her office who consistently turn around correspondence in two days.)
And if you do make it to getting an appointment to see your local MP? Best not fall ill and have to miss the appointment:
Please note that if you miss an appointment with the MP you will not be offered a further appointment at the advice surgery for a further three months and you will need to write to the MP for him to take up your case.
The page these quotes are from is titled “Advice: How I can help you”. But it should have appended “But I’d really rather not”.
UPDATE: David Lammy has responded to one part of this post in a tweet, which raises far more questions about his Tottenham advice surgeries for constituents than it answers.