Parliament is now in recess until the first week of September. Regardless of what you may read in some national newspapers, this period is not a holiday for MPs. We still have plenty of work to do!
During the recess an MP isn’t sitting in the House of Commons Chamber in debates, isn’t voting and isn’t able to hold Ministers to account by asking them questions. However, if it is in the public interest, the Speaker can recall the House of Commons at any time, at the request of the Government, and MPs are expected to return to Westminster from wherever they are.
Throughout the summer, the work of assisting my constituents in the Forest of Dean goes on with people continuing to contact me by email, phone or in writing over the summer months. I try to make sure that constituents who contact me receive a clear and comprehensive answer to their question which often involves writing to my ministerial colleagues.
I will continue to hold surgeries for my constituents to come and speak to me about the issues that concern them.
In addition to this I will also continue to attend local events, visit businesses and meet local residents around the constituency – having already visited Newent and District Model Aircraft Club. Several highlights over the next week will be supporting our local riders at the NAF International Hartpury Horse Trials, attending Ruardean Carnival, and visiting Charlie’s at Lydney Community Centre to hear about how they help people living with and post-cancer.
While I will have a proper holiday during the recess to recharge my batteries, like many of my constituents, I will be away for just over a week. However, contrary to how it’s occasionally portrayed, the recess is not a time for MPs to simply have a holiday. While Westminster may be quieter over the summer recess, there is still much work to do.