Stop Climate Chaos


Top tips for a successful lobby meeting with your MP

Big Climate Connection


Got your lobby meeting set up?
Check out these tips from an ex-MP on how to make the most of your lobby meeting:

  • Check in advance to see whether the MP has signed any relevant Early Day Motions (EDMs), which are a sort of parliamentary petition (e.g. EDM 653 on the Warm Homes campaign). Also see if they’ve asked any relevant oral or written questions (www.theyworkforyou.com) so that you can refer to past support for any of your asks.
  • Try to find local statistics that back up your asks, such as the number of people living in fuel poverty in the area (try the DECC website, data.gov.uk or the local authority). If you can show that you know the issues in depth, your MP will take you more seriously.
  • Meet beforehand to talk through the asks with your group of people, decide who is going to take the lead on each area, and who will ask which questions.
  • Don’t disagree with each other while you’re meeting your MP.
  • Think about body language – be confident, assertive, calm and polite.
  • Make sure someone takes notes – this shows the MP that you’re recording what they’re saying and that you can monitor whether or not they do what they say they will.
  • Keep the questions focused – don’t ask very general questions. For example, you might only have 15 minutes with your MP. Asking them what they think about energy efficiency, for example, is too vague and allows them to take up a lot of valuable time waffling!
  • Ask your MP to do something specific, e.g. writing to Andrew Mitchell/ David Cameron, and make it clear that you want to know once they’ve done it and you want to see the response from the relevant minister.
  • Tell the MP you will be looking to get press coverage.
  • If the MP supports any or all of the asks, make sure you mention that in a press release after the meeting. And if they don’t support any or all of the asks, do make sure you include that in your press release. MPs really take notice of the coverage they get in local media and if they’ve been shown not to support something, particularly something that could help people living in their constituency (e.g. they’ve not agreed to vote to help people living in fuel poverty), they could reconsider.
  • Afterwards send a letter to thank the MP for meeting with you and remind them what they agreed to.

Good luck!

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