One of the questions I often get asked is ‘Lorely, what does an MP do all day?’
Our time is split between work in Westminster (generally Monday to Thursday) and crowded around that, are the things we do for, and with, constituents.
Westminster work varies enormously. The Wall Street Journal this week described me as ‘lawmaker Lorely Burt’; and I guess that sums it up. We debate, scrutinise, amend, and pass legislation, on a range of subjects too long to mention here, but all very important.
Constituency work can be all sorts of things: from my weekly surgery which generally (but not always) deals with individual problems and concerns to checking out what’s going on locally in health, housing, schools, and being lobbied on a hundred other things, from police cuts to fish discards.
One of the other important things I do is talk to interest groups with a view to representing their views in Parliament. I spent time with two groups this week: the Federation of Small Business, and the Soroptimists. The Federation of Small Business does what it says on the tin: representing the views and interests of small business.
The Soroptimists are a women’s organisation seeking to further the interests of women and children both in the UK, and internationally. They had a large shopping list of questions which ranged from what the Government is doing about human trafficking to the UK’s relatively poor record on stillbirths.
One Soroptimist member summed up their ethos beautifully: “If you look after women and girls you look after the World.” Women own 5% of the wealth in the world, and do 65% of the work. They need, and deserve, to be looked after, and the Soroptomists do their bit.
If you are a member of a group, or an individual, with a concern you’d like to talk to me about or want to learn more about the Soroptimists, or indeed the Federation of Small Business, please visit my website (http://lorelyburt.org.uk) for details on how to get in touch.