Tory MP for Esher and Walton Dominic Raab is threatening legal action against campaign group 38 Degrees for having the temerity to publish his publicly available email address – firstname.lastname@example.org – on their ‘contact your MP’ system. When seeking the Tory nomination, Raab, an ‘international lawyer’, claimed to be “ready to serve every community…”
“Over the last 12 months, 38 Degrees members have worked together to make all MPs more accountable to us, their voters. Tens of thousands of us have come together to clean up lobbying in Westminster and to call for a new recall law that would mean people could call a fresh vote if their MP wasn’t doing their job properly.
“Now, an MP has got in touch to tell us he doesn’t want his constituents to be able to get in touch by e-mail. As far as we know, he didn’t ask his constituents what they thought before he made that decision. So now, we’re going to ask 38 Degrees members in his constituency what they think, so we can work together to make a change if they’re not happy about it.”
On their website 38 Degrees explain:
“We’ve been in touch with the Information Commissioner and they’ve reassured us that because he is an MP and his e-mail address is in the public domain, he has no grounds to report us. We let Mr Raab know this and he responded by having the House of Commons remove his e-mail address from their website.
“We spoke to the Information Commisioner’s office and again they reassured us that because he is an MP and because his email address is in the public domain we’re in the right by letting his constituents get in touch with him…
“When Mr Raab was an election candidate he gave out his personal email address to use. Now he’s an MP, with an official parliament email address paid for by the taxpayer, he’s telling us to stop people using it and making threats. No other MP anywhere in the UK has ever threatened 38 Degrees in this way.
“Mr Raab is a trained lawyer with friends in high places. Even though he appears to be wrong, he could cause us some trouble and cost us money in legal advice.”
38 Degrees has launched a local poll of members in Raab’s constituency to decide what to do next.