Emily's Parliament Work Experience Diary: Days 2 & 3
Uniformed Services, Law & Criminology
First year student Emily Dartmouth continues to update us on her work experience placement as Royston Smith MP's parliamentary assistant.
Today was another great day. Firstly, I met Alex in central lobby and we walked down to the library. We was only in the library briefly as Royston messaged saying his meeting was complete. The library was only small but still was such a lovely building.
We then went back to Royston’s office after being in the library. I then added some more detail to the response for a letter from one of his constituents. I was researching the EU Withdrawal Bill. I learnt that the exit day will only change if a unanimous decision occurs throughout several nations which is highly unlikely.
At around 11am, Royston informed me that he had got me a ticket for Prime Minister question time at midday. He stated that he had got first in the queue at 8am in order to get me this ticket. I was extremely grateful for Royston doing this for me. I was sat in the Public Gallery which is behind the glass and around 5 rows up. It was very beneficial as I got to see both sides and the Prime Minister answering questions very clearly.
Alex and I made our way down to watch the procession at around 11:30. However, instead of seeing the speaker entering the Commons, we watched him walk out of the room and enter Central Lobby. This was the very first stage of the procession. After this, I entered the queue for the public gallery. I was so shocked at how packed and busy it was!
Firstly, Theresa May entered the House of Commons and took her seat opposite Jeremy Corbyn. She opened the debate by stating how she wishes England good luck in the World Cup and how the Grenfell Tower anniversary is tomorrow. She expressed how she will be sending her condolences and will be doing everything she can to make sure everyone has a household.
With this comment, Jeremy Corbyn stated that even a year on, not everyone has permanent housing. Some people are still receiving temporary housing.
Another question that was asked was based on a campaign about childhood cancer. The MP was asking the PM if any government funding could be available as one of her constituents has this form of cancer. Theresa May was very efficient and stated that she will ensure this matter gets dealt with urgently.
A major topic within PMQ was Brexit. This topic got very heated as there was such a diversity of opinions. The SNP pulled a huge stunt within PMQ. This is as a result of Scotland feeling as though their voices were being ignored during Brexit. This caused the MP to stand up and refuse to sit down. He was being shouted at by the speaker and the rest of the house who was very shocked at this incident. The speaker then stated that the MP must leave and is banned from the house for the remainder of the day. With this, the whole of the SNP left and some got very aggressive to the conservative parties. One lady even pointed her finger and shouted at the house! However, after these events, later on in the day another MP found the script relating to this stunt. This suggested that the stunt was staged!
After all this drama, it was very amusing as the majority of the MPs questioning Theresa May was Scottish. Therefore, the speaker had to leave out many of the questions but the way he said “oh they're not here” was so funny!
There was a question about the pollution within the oceans. Theresa May explained that millions of pounds of government funding has been used to remove the plastic in the oceans. The MP asked Theresa May if it was possible to listen to her ways of preventing the plastic after the PMQ. However, Theresa May had plans after to sort out the SNP so she couldn’t listen to her suggestions.
After the PMQ finished, the points of order was being completed.
I then left the public gallery and met Alex in Central Lobby. Alex received a call from Suella Braverman’s secretary Anne to state that she can meet me at 3pm. I was so excited for this and so surprised with how kind-hearted Suella (MP for Fareham, pictured above) was. She questioned me about my career plans, college and had a genuine interest about what is going on in my life. She was very pleased with my interests within Parliament and law! She explained the process of joining a party which I was actually unaware of. This meant that I will complete more research about this and look into joining a party.
Suella also kindly invited me to her Brexit talk in Porchester in a few weeks. I expressed my interest and told her I would love to go. She also stated to me that she will add me to her mailing list so I am aware of more of her events. She also told me I’m more than welcome to come with her to Parliament and to visit the constituency office in Fareham.
Meeting Suella was very short but sweet as she is in high demand and is extremely busy!
I then went straight to the Foreign Affairs meeting in which I saw Royston in action! The meeting was based on whether countries in the Western Balkans such as Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovia and Montenegro, entering the European Union. Royston asked several questions such as if there had been any negative comments seeing as we are encouraging the Western Balkans to enter the EU at a time when we are leaving. Another question was from another MP who stated that we should maybe offer a different political solution instead of entering the EU as we are leaving.
After this it was time to leave as it was 5pm. Royston will be going back to the constituency and therefore I thanked him for the opportunity and wrote a card and just explained how grateful I was and how I would love another chance to get this experience again. Royston told me I would be welcome anytime and that I should be in contact with him to sort out coming down to the constituency!