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Point of Order

Volume 700: debated on Monday 6 September 2021

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I have told the other Member concerned of my intention to raise this matter tonight.

Over the past two weeks or so, several thousand of my constituents have been direct mailed political material in two names, one of whom is the hon. Member for North East Fife (Wendy Chamberlain) and the other holds no elected office of any kind. In this literature the hon. Lady is referred to as the local Member of Parliament, and constituents who receive it are encouraged to contact her with any queries, rather than me.

Is it in order, Madam Deputy Speaker, for a Member of Parliament to target large numbers of residents in a neighbouring constituency with literature that is clearly calculated to create the impression that they, and not me, are the local Member of Parliament? If it is not in order, what corrective action might you suggest?

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his point of order, and I completely understand his concern. I am sure he will understand that I am not responsible for Members’ communications with their constituents, and I have not seen the leaflet in question. I am pleased that he has informed the hon. Member for North East Fife (Wendy Chamberlain) of his intention to raise this point of order.

Of course, all hon. and right hon. Members should be accurate in the material they provide to constituents. That includes ensuring that leaflets describing an hon. Member as the local Member of Parliament are, indeed, distributed only within the relevant constituency.

The hon. Member for Glenrothes (Peter Grant) has put his point on record, and I am pleased he has been in touch with the other hon. Member concerned. Having made that general point about the need for accuracy, which I stress, I hope the two hon. Members can now resolve this matter speedily.