I think it's fair to say it's become a bit more heated since then. Here is the latest from her, followed by my response.
Dear Mr Kennedy,
Thank you for your email.
I am sorry to say that I did not receive the below email – I have searched through my inbox and cannot find the email, so I do apologise for the delay in responding.
Over the last few years, I do believe the term ‘representation’ has become skewed – it is felt that if an MP does not vote in line with a constituent’s personal views, they are not fulfilling their role as an MP which is incorrect. The term ‘represent’ covers a wide spectrum of issues, including helping constituents with personal problems e.g. representing them in health/pension/housing disputes, either locally or in the Chamber, which I have done on a number of occasions.
This is the nature of representative democracy – constituents elected an MP to make decisions in parliament on their behalf based on a number of factors, including their manifesto promises. As I have said previously, it is not possible for a Member of Parliament to reflect the views of every constituent, even in occasions such as this when the majority have indicted their preferences a certain way. Indeed, if I were to ‘represent’ you by following your personal views, there may be others in my constituency who would feel the same way as you do now. It for that reason that an MP must make decisions based on other factors as well, including their experience in Parliament and detailed information provided in the political arena.
The matter of the referendum was in the Conservative manifesto over a year before it took place. I do not believe that not enough time or information was given within this year for people to decide how to vote or to raise concerns and questions.
With best wishes,
Mrs Anne Main
Member for St Albans
House of Commons
0207 219 8270
Dear Mrs Main,
Thank you for your response.
I do understand the nature of representative democracy. You are right to point out that "an MP must make decisions based on other factors as well, including their experience in Parliament and detailed information provided in the political arena." I was not asking you to change your stance on Brexit merely because as your constituent I would like you to. On the contrary, I was asking you, post-referendum, to engage fully with the 'detailed information in the political arena' which has since emerged, such as the Opinium poll of 1 July, the ITV Wales/Cardiff University YouGov poll of 5 July and the ongoing court battle involving the disenfranchisement of the 700,000 British expats which I cited - all of which provide 'detailed information from the political arena' that there is not a clear consensus for Brexit and that if anything the balance post-referendum is tipping the opposite way.
You response does not attempt to engage with a single one of these points but instead attempts to characterise me as a lone, angry and unreasonable constituent. This is as unfair and disingenuous as it is patronising.
My letter to you was not asking you to take my views in particular into account over and above any other constituent's. Rather, it was to ask you to properly and respectfully engage with the well-researched evidence I am offering you (your party's view on 'experts' notwithstanding) and in particular to take into account the 63% of your constituents who feel the same as I do, as clearly indicated in the referendum result locally.
If you are going to place such weight on the outcome of a mere 1.9% majority in a national referendum, and treat it as mandate to make a huge and widely-predicted catastrophic leap into the unknown, then what of the thumping 13% majority at local level to remain?
You can't have your cake and eat it on this one, I'm afraid. You are a Leave MP in an overwhelmingly Remain constituency. This puts you in an extremely difficult position. Your only democratic, and indeed moral, option here is to respect the overwhelming views of your constituents, as clearly expressed by the referendum mechanism you hold so sacrosanct, and to change your stance on Brexit in the interests of serving the people you represent.
If you continue to ignore the majority of your constituents' views on this matter it will be difficult for the many individuals and groups who are lobbying you to avoid the conclusion that it is you who do not understand the nature of representative democracy. Worse, it could look as if you are using the coincidence of a referendum outcome in line with your own minority view as a fig leaf to push your personal political agenda ahead of the will and best interests of the majority who elected you. I'm sure I wouldn't be alone locally in considering this tantamount to an abuse of your office.
I urge you one last time to put your own views aside, and do the democratic thing, unpalatable to your personal politics as it may be.
Please reconsider your position on Brexit, in the interests of your constituents, your elected office and your own reputation and career.