It shouldn’t happen this time…but it will

At the last General Election a certain Labour MP sent a letter with the following text.

Arrangement during the General Election

It is likely that there will be a General Election in the near future. Once the election has been officially called the arrangements for handling on-going casework are as follows:

The day the election is called I am legally no longer an MP and cannot act on your behalf.

However my staff will still be available to continue working on existing casework. For example they will be able to pass on letters received about cases and advise on them. There will be a staff member available every working day between 10am and 1pm in my existing offices at XXXXXX XXXXX.

I will continue to pursue all matters until the election is called, of course.

I will not be allowed to take on any new casework during the election campaign period unless I am re-elected. Should I be re-elected I will be available all day on the Monday after the election between 10am and 6pm for urgent issues.

Should someone else be elected I will not be allowed to pass on files, due to data protection law and you will need to start afresh with him or her.

As far as I can ascertain the letter went to everyone who had ever been in contact with the MP in question, and went out on headed paper and in paid for postage. So the taxpayer paid for this letter. And I know someone raised it with the House authorities who said that such a communication was in order. Yet even more amazing was that an MP was effectively allowed to say to thousands of constituents that if someone else beat them, their issue would be back to square one with the words, “you will need to start afresh with him or her”. Now is it me or is that phrase actively being used to encourage a voter to cast their vote in one way as opposed to another? And the method of doing that persuasion was paid for by the taxpayer.

Of course to avoid this type of thing the £10,000 communication allowance was brought in. And will it stop it happening as we approach the next election. Will it hell. I advise any Tory PPC to be as proactive as possible and report any Labour MP bending the rules on what this public money can be spent on in an attempt to keep hold of their seat.

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