The Somerset Guardian, 5th February 2020
Recently, an article appeared in the Somerset Guardian about some of my constituents who have made an appointment at my surgery to discuss certain issues affecting them and upon which I declined to comment.
Surgeries are an intrinsic part of my role representing the people of North East Somerset and I normally hold one a week in various locations around the constituency so that everyone has an easy opportunity to attend. These times are important to see if I can seek redress of grievance for those whom I represent in Westminster, giving them the opportunity to speak to me about sometimes complex and sensitive issues that they would rather discuss face to face.
When people have surgery appointments, they have a right to expect the utmost confidentiality – they will be able to talk about any matter and be certain that none of the details will be disclosed to anyone without their approval. This is also the case prior to any arranged meeting and even more important as no consent to act has been given. If those attending choose to seek publicity for a cause either before or after the surgery that is for them to decide.
Constituents can also rest assured that I am always on their side, irrespective of what they have come to see me about. In this context I am not part of the officialdom and any representations that are made on their behalf will be as a result of what constituents feel they need or deserve. It is not my place to make any judgements.
I will continue holding surgeries and defend the interests and privacy of all my constituents at any cost.