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Tory MP wants to unsubscribe from campaign emails

38 Degrees lets Brits contact MP via online form

A Conservative MP wants his email address to be removed from a campaign website as he claims it's encouraging people to "deluge" his account with "cloned messages".

The 38 Degrees website allows Brits to contact their local MP via an online form and doesn't publish recipients' email addresses.

However, Dominic Raab, MP for Esher and Walton in Surrey, believes the large number of messages he's receiving from the public via sites like 38 Degrees means he has less time to deal with issues raised by constituents.

"MPs get hundreds of emails and letters from constituents. I try to answer every one in reasonable time. But, MPs have finite time and resources, and I also want to prioritise those in the greatest need," Raab said on his blog.

"I ask for my email address to be removed from such systems and encourage constituents to contact me direct. Otherwise, my email inbox gets deluged by lobby group emails - and that detracts time and effort from dealing with the many constituents who raise problems or issues."

Raab, whose email address is not published on Parliament's website, has taken the issue to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

"I actively encourage constituents (on my blog and website) to write to me, comment on my blog, email my association, telephone my office or book a surgery appointment," he added.

38 Degrees told the BBC the ICO had no problems with the site offering contact via the online form.

"We asked if we should take the form down and they said no," David Babbs, executive director of 38 Degrees, said.

"We have worked out that, since he became an MP, Mr Raab has received about two emails a day on average via our supporters. We've never had this sort of response from any other MP. Even when they don't agree with our stance, most MPs recognise that this is part of their job."

38 Degrees said it would approach its supporters in Raab's constituency for their opinion on the issue.

The ICO said it would only take action if it was a personal address that was being given out and not one already in the public domain.

See also: Voters urged to write to MPs over Digital Economy Bill

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