FAQs

Is Catherine my MP?

You can find out if Catherine is your Member of Parliament, by entering your postcode into this website.

Parliamentary protocol means that Catherine can only assist, respond to, and represent the concerns of, people living within her constituency of Newcastle upon Tyne North.

How can Catherine help me?

As well as voting on legislation and speaking about/tabling questions on issues in the House of Commons, Catherine deals with a wide range of issues raised by people in the constituency. Catherine will always listen to, and respond to, the concerns of her constituents regardless of their political persuasion.

Catherine is best able to assist in cases where Parliament or central Government is responsible, such as:

  • National policy issues
  • Benefits, pensions, National Insurance and other matters dealt with by the Department for Work and Pensions
  • Immigration and visa problems
  • Tax problems, and matters involving HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • Problems with the NHS
  • Problems with the Child Support Agency / Child Maintenance Service

Catherine is also happy to take up issues with Newcastle City Council / Your Homes Newcastle and other local bodies on behalf of constituents. She is unable to settle private disputes with neighbours or employers, nor can she help in family arguments or consumer matters. She cannot interfere with decisions made in court. For legal advice, you should always contact a practising solicitor.

How will Catherine deal with my problem?

Catherine will often try and resolve your problem by writing to the relevant Minister, Government Agency (e.g. HM Revenue and Customs), or local organisation (e.g. Newcastle City Council, Your Homes Newcastle). She may also raise the issue or problem you are concerned about in the House of Commons. Many problems (but not all) can be resolved or addressed in this way.

If you feel there has been unnecessary delay or maladministration in the handling of your case by a third party organisation, Catherine may also be able to take your case to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. (The Ombudsman can only be approached through Catherine; you cannot approach that office directly).

Catherine is happy to meet with constituents in Parliament or in the constituency – you can e-mail her via catherine.mckinnnell.mp@parliament.uk or telephone her office (0191 229 0352) to make an appointment at one of her surgeries.

What is Catherine up to in Parliament?

You can sign up to receive regular updates on Catherine’s contributions in Parliament here.

Catherine also sends out a regular e-bulletin for constituents about her work both in Westminster and Newcastle North – please email her at [email protected] if you would like to receive this.

How can I find out about Catherine’s expenses claims?

All of Catherine’s expenses claims – made to enable to her to carry out her Parliamentary duties under the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) scheme – are available here.

How can I watch what happens in Parliament?

Parliamentary proceedings (in both the House of Commons and House of Lords) are broadcast live via the official Houses of Parliament website here. You can also find recordings of previous Parliamentary sessions, Select Committee hearings and Westminster Hall debates on this website.

Alternatively, the BBC Parliament channel website is available here. This also covers proceedings in the European Parliament, the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

How can I find out more about how Parliament works?

A wealth of information about how Parliament works is contained on the official Houses of Parliament website.

There is also a website specifically designed for younger people and schools/teachers available here.

Can I visit Parliament?

Yes, and Catherine is able to arrange a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament (also known as the Palace of Westminster), and/or secure tickets to view proceedings in the House of Commons or Lords for her constituents. Please e-mail Catherine via catherine.mckinnell.mp@parliament.uk or telephone her office on 0191 229 0352 if you would like her to do so.