For my week of work experience I worked in Oliver Heald‘s office at the House of Commons. It was exciting as I had read about it and seen it on television and then I was there in person.
The first thing we did was take a free tour of Parliament and found out lots about the buildings and what happened in them. All the rooms were very impressive and grand. In the office I did filing and other jobs. I saw lots of Select Committees on topics like sham marriages, child mortality and the environment which were very interesting. I really enjoyed seeing the Select Committees as I could relate them to things happening where I live.
The best part of my week was seeing Prime Minister‘s Questions. It was very dramatic as it was just after the verdict on the Andy Coulson trial. I’m glad we got to see it because it was one lots of people wanted to go to. Lots of the MPs got very heated over the topic. There was quite a lot of shouting and pointing which made it quite entertaining. I liked seeing all the politicians I recognised from the news in person and how they reacted to the debates.
On the last day we saw a few debates and a Ministerial statement on the NHS investigations. We saw a variety of different things from the gallery where we had very good seats although they were a bit uncomfortable, we could see everything.
I’m very glad and grateful that I could do my work experience in such a respected place and have so much fun doing it.
After the tour of the Palace of Westminster I didn’t think it could get much better. I was wrong.
Tuesday started off with the tour, followed by lunch in Number 1 Parliament Street. After lunch we sat in on the Home Affairs Select Committee on the subject of sham marriages, with some lively discussion over the evidence being given. Certainly made for entertaining viewing!
As if Tuesday hadn’t been exciting enough, we were lucky enough to be able to watch a very heated, thanks to the Andy Coulson case, Prime Minister’s Questions from the gallery followed by lunch on the Terrace on Wednesday. That wasn’t even the last of the excitement! After lunch, along with Oliver, we made our way over to Downing Street, cleared the slightly intimidating security, and were able to hand a petition to Number Ten!
On Thursday we were again very lucky in that were able to watch Jeremy Hunt give his Ministerial Statement on the NHS report into the Jimmy Savile case. In the afternoon we spent some time watching the Grand Committee of the Lords in the Moses Room and also watching a debate from the gallery in the Main Chamber.
As a 6th form student studying politics, the opportunities to see what I have done over the last few days have been invaluable, as well as extremely enjoyable!
I would definitely recommend a few days work experience here at Westminster to anyone with an interest in politics, even if it were to only see the building itself!