There were no records of Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Scully having written to the Department for Transport about Southern Railway over the course of a year.

From July 16, 2017 to July 16 this year, there are no notes of correspondence from the MP’s office to the DfT.

This includes the Government department’s ministers, private office staff, and special advisers, according to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

However, Mr Scully insists he has tackled the widely-documented issues regarding Southern Railway directly with bosses.

He said: “The terrible service that rail commuters have had to suffer remains a huge priority for me. That’s why I’ve tackled the Transport Secretary, the Rail Minister, and the chief executives of GTR, Network Rail, and South Western Railway directly.

“I’ve asked questions in Parliament and raised concerns one-to-one with each of them.

“To my mind, speaking to the decision-makers directly has a better chance of seeing a result than posturing with petitions which are mainly aimed at gathering people’s personal contact details or writing to civil servants.”

The FOI, submitted by Sutton and Cheam seat candidate Amna Ahmad, only covers written records from Mr Scully’s office to the DfT.

This means that logs for verbal communication – such as telephone conversations or informal meetings – were not included the response.

When “GTR” is searched in Parliament’s Hansard database, an official record of debates, the latest spoken contribution is from July 18 this year.

This was when MPs were discussing a review of the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise, which runs Southern Railway.

When “Southern” is searched in the database, the latest item is from July 4 last year.

Liberal Democrat Mrs Ahmad said: “Sutton and Belmont residents have suffered for far too long from dismal Southern services, and we expect the local MP to speak up for us.

“Shortly after the 2017 general election, there is no record of the Conservative Sutton MP writing to the Department of Transport about Southern Rail.

“This is despite disastrous timetable changes, rail fare rises and misery for commuters.

“We deserve an explanation – why did this MP not represent his constituency’s views on Southern Rail to the Government Department for a whole year?

“This is unacceptable. We demand to know how this happened.”