I am hugely proud to be able to serve as Chichester’s Member of Parliament, and it’s a responsibility I take extremely seriously. As part of my role, I try to make myself as accessible and open as I can – being out and about in the community, visiting local businesses and organisations, and handling well over 10,000 pieces of correspondence from residents each year.
As well as this, I also use social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, to keep residents up to date with my work in the constituency, highlight key events and news stories from across the area, as well as provide regular updates on current areas of Government policy and issues on the national stage. My Facebook page is updated frequently and is the best place to find out more about what I am up to in Chichester. I am also very active on Twitter, and, to a lesser extent, Instagram.
Freedom of speech and freedom of debate are important parts of daily life, and I always try to welcome a broad range of views and opinions on any issue. Whilst I absolutely believe everyone has a right to their own opinion, that does not mean people can act with impunity and without regard for others. To ensure my social media pages remain a productive and welcoming space for me to engage with residents and carry out my parliamentary duties, I have therefore introduced a limited set of ground rules to be followed at all times by visitors to the page.
This is not a comprehensive list, and any moderation (comment deletion, profile blocking etc.) will ultimately be carried out at the discretion of my Parliamentary Office, however they can cover a number of scenarios, some of which I have included below for illustration:
Rudeness, threats or use of profane language;
Repeated and active political posts from other parties, their supporters and their representatives (who are most welcome to set up their own page for that purpose);
Repeated divergence from the topic of discussion;
People who are clearly not from Chichester and who are not adhering to good manners and conduct, and;
Advertising or marketing materials
I appreciate that comments can be a positive addition to the page, particularly where they contribute to the discussion in a reasonable and productive manner. For that reason, we will try to avoid exercising these rules wherever possible.
Where comments relate to specific local issues or queries, my team may also respond in some instances. Due to the volume of comments and correspondence that we regularly receive, however, we cannot guarantee that this will be the case. If you are a constituent of Chichester and want to raise a query, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, if your question relates to my role as Secretary of State for Education, please send your correspondence via the Department for Education contact form: https://www.gov.uk/contact-dfe