I am proud to serve the constituents of Workington as their representative in Parliament. This is something I take seriously, and I am keen to hear from and engage with as many constituents as possible. I do this through surveys, surgeries, business and charity visits, as well as the usual emails, letters, phone calls, casework, and policy queries.
I broke with the tradition of previous Workington MPs and chose not to hide myself and my team away in a corner of the bottom of the constituency, instead I have an office in Maryport town centre, in order to be physically accessible to as many constituents as possible.
I also use my official social media channels to promote the things this Conservative Government is doing for the Workington constituency and those that live and work here, and my work as the local MP. I also use my social media accounts to celebrate local achievements.
As an elected Conservative Member of Parliament, I have a political viewpoint which I know - while the majority do - not everyone agrees with. I also know that others will have their own views and opinions. I respect this. Even if I don’t agree with someone’s views, it is their right to have a different viewpoint to mine. I work as hard for every constituent as I would for any other, regardless of any of these differences.
I have set out some rules for my social media channels. These have been designed to ensure that all interactions are compatible with the principles of common courtesy, respect, and good manners. Sadly, there are some who wish to abuse my social media accounts for their own purposes. I do not believe that this is right and I do not do this to others with different views to myself.
Even as an MP, I have a right to protect myself from any threats of harassment and abuse. My social media channels are my own platform, owned and curated by myself and/or members of my team, to express my positions, along with the views and positions of the Conservative Government, in addition to communicating with local constituents.
I respond occasionally to comments on my social media channels, but a response is not to be expected. These platforms are not an appropriate place to raise casework issues or matters that need an in-depth response or analysis. Comments are not a substitute for emails and I won’t be able to action them. Questions and comments should instead be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ground rules that I have set for my social media channels are as follows:
- The primary aim of my social media accounts is to serve constituents. If you use a pseudonym, anonymous profile or if you can’t be identified as living or working in the constituency, you may have your comments ignored, hidden, or removed. You may be blocked without prior notice.
- Abuse and threats of any kind will not be tolerated. Any comments that my team or I feel deem to be in breach of this may be hidden or deleted without prior notice and the account that is posting them may be blocked and reported to the social media companies and the to Police. We have a zero-tolerance policy which means that we will report all threats and abuse.
- While I welcome feedback, the comments sections of my social media channels are not there opposition activists to post their own political views. As long as they follow the rules that are set by the social media company, they should be able to create their own page or account where they can espouse those views for all to see. Likewise, comments that are intended to deflect or divert attention from the content of the main post may be removed without prior notice. Persistent offenders may be blocked
- Spamming is not tolerated. This includes persistent posting of comments across multiple posts or platforms that say the same thing or are unrelated to the original post. These comments will be deleted and the account that is posting them may be blocked without any prior notice.
- Advertising of any kind is not permitted and any genuine recommendations of products or services that people make in the comments are the responsibility of the person making the recommendation.