1. How to make a Freedom of Information request with WhatDoTheyKnow

    Freedom_of_Information_logoHave you ever wondered how much money your council spent on that new building in town? (more…)

  2. Want to know what your MP is saying? Subscribe to a TheyWorkForYou alert

    Bell by  Janne HellstenOur site TheyWorkForYou publishes everything said in Parliament. But how do you know when they’re debating the stuff that really matters to you?

    Easy – you set up an email alert.

    You can ask TheyWorkForYou to email you whenever a chosen word or phrase is mentioned in Parliament, or when a specific person speaks.

    Then, once a day, our automated processes check to see whether your keyword has been mentioned, or your chosen politician has spoken, and if so, we send you an email.

    Alerts are for everyone

    How might this service be useful to you?

    • If you work for a charity or campaign group, you can subscribe to mentions of your cause;
    • If you ever wonder exactly what your MP does, we’ll tell you every time he or she speaks;
    • If you subscribe to the name of your town or city, you’ll know whenever it’s mentioned in Parliament;
    • If a particular news story is of interest, you can subscribe to mentions…

    …and so on. Everyone has their own topics of interest, and most topics are debated in Parliament at one time or another, so we think there really is an alert for everyone.

    Two types of alert

    There are two different types of alert: you can choose to receive an email every time a specific person (most likely your own MP) speaks, or to receive one whenever a specified word or phrase is mentioned.

    In this post, I’m going to walk through the process of setting up an alert for when your MP speaks, and then in subsequent posts, we’ll look at alerts for keywords, and how to manage your alerts.

    Receive an alert every time your MP speaks

    1. Find your MP’s page

    If you already know who your MP is (or you want to follow a member of Parliament who is not your MP) you can search for them by name on the TheyWorkForYou homepage :


    If you don’t know who your MP is, no worries – just put your postcode into the search box:


    Either way, you should end up on your MP’s page:

    An MP's page on TheyWorkForYou

    2. Sign up for alerts

    Click on the blue button at the top of the page marked ‘Get email updates’:


    If you are logged in to the site, that’s it – you’ve subscribed, and you don’t need to do anything more.

    3. Confirming your alert

    If you are not logged in, don’t worry. You don’t actually need an account in order to sign up for alerts.

    signing up for alerts from TheyWorkForYou

    You’ll see this text:

    Request a TheyWorkForYou email alert

    Signing up for things by [your MP’s name]

    Input your email address, and we’ll send you a confirmation email:

    Confirm alert by email on TheyWorkForYou

    Click on the link in the email, and you’re all set up:

    TheyWorkForYou success

    Now all you have to do is wait for our emails to come into your inbox.

    Don’t worry if you want to stop them at any time – there’s a link at the foot of every alert email which you can follow to pause or delete your alerts.

    Rather subscribe to a topic? Then you need this blog post.

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    Image by Janne Hellsten (CC)