Tory MP tries to block voter e-mail

A Tory MP has said that he doesn't want constituents to contact him by e-mail, and has threatened a political lobbying website with legal action if they continue to publicise his address.

Dominic Raab, the newly elected Conservative MP for Esher and Walton, asked people-powered political campaign site 38 Degrees to remove him from its postcode-based 'Contact your MP' system, which enables users to send messages to his taxpayer-funded House of Commons e-mail address.

Raab claimed e-mails from constituents who visited the site were "a real nuisance" that required "a disproportionate amount of time and effort".

The MP told 38 Degrees in an e-mail: "I don't want my e-mail details on your system at all."

When the site refused, Raab - a trained lawyer - issued the following threat:

"I am now formally requesting that you remove my email from your website system. If you refuse, I will submit a formal complaint to the Information Commissioner."

The Information Commissioner reassured 38 Degrees that because Raab is an MP and his e-mail address is in the public domain, the site was entitled to provide a system that enabled constituents to get in touch.

Raab responded by having his parliamentary e-mail address removed from his page on the House of Commons web site.

Any constituents of Mr Raab who are unhappy with the MP's stance on the use of his publicly-funded e-mail address - which is raabd@parliament.uk - can find ways to contact him at 38 Degrees.

He also appears to be available at: dominic.raab@esherwalton.com.