A day in the life...
News from Westminster
The title of this seems rather inaccurate this month. We have just finished Parliamentary recess, where MPs spend their time in the constituency rather than London. People often ask how I spend my time when I’m in the constituency, so I thought I’d write a day in the life of an MP in Dorset.
I start my day by checking through my online diary. I cannot ever remember all the details of where I need to be and who I am meeting, but thankfully modern technology stores it all for me! During term time, I often visit schools when I’m in the constituency, meeting with pupils or teachers. These school holidays I offered work experience placements to a group of students from several different schools. Before they arrive at the office, I meet with my staff to discuss the day ahead. We wanted to give the students an idea of all the different aspects of working for an MP.
During the day, the students complete a variety of tasks. They are asked to research and draft a speech on prison reform and rehabilitation and also draft a newsletter which they later deliver to local residents. My staff discuss with them the value and importance of keeping in touch with people, and they draft a press release and discuss how social media is used in politics.
I am with them for part of the day, but I have my usual surgery to hold. I hold surgeries every week in the constituency, and this time I met several residents, all with very different concerns. Some had concerns about global issues that they want me to raise with ministers in Parliament, others queries are much more personal. On this occasion, I had a resident with housing issues, and another struggling to get appropriate care in place for an elderly relative. One of the things that is very satisfying about being an MP is getting help to the people who need it the most, and being able to make a real difference in people’s lives.
After the surgery has ended, I make several calls before my next meeting. I chat through some planning issues with local councillors, speak to another local MP about a Dorset-wide transport issue, and then head to my meeting with a housing association. Once that has finished, I return to the office to answer some emails and letters.
I often have evening appointments, whether fundraising events for local charities, or community meetings. If I do, I try to pop home to see the children before going out again. On my rare evenings in, I will probably watch a film on Amazon Prime, before getting an early night.
Once recess ends, I will return to spending Monday to Thursday in Westminster, and weekends in the constituency.