Finding legal advice for your constituents

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MPs’ offices should not give out legal advice to constituents.  You should ask your constituents to seek independent legal advice given by a suitably qualified person with professional liability insurance.

Law Centres defend the legal rights of people who cannot afford a lawyer. They are specialists working in their local communities to uphold justice and advance equality.

There are various Law Centres throughout the country who https://www.lawcentres.org.uk/about-law-centres/law-centres-on-google-maps/alphabetically

Immigration

In the case of immigration matters, it is against the law to dispense immigration advice unless you are registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) or a member of an approved professional body such as the Law Society.

Find an immigration adviser: https://www.gov.uk/find-an-immigration-adviser

The Public Law Project employs specialist lawyers who assist individuals experiencing personal disadvantage, or charities or organisations representing the interests of marginalised or disadvantaged groups.  PLP also employs expert academics and researchers.

They may be able to take on individual cases that are referred to them by other lawyers, advisors, MPs or voluntary groups.  If they are unable to help, they may be able to signpost you to other lawyers or agencies that can.

Have a look at their page on helping individuals here; https://publiclawproject.org.uk/can-we-help/individuals/

The Unity Project supports migrants who have No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF).

Karma Nirvana is a project which supports victims of honour-based violence and forced marriage.  https://karmanirvana.org.uk/

Further information

See the House of Commons Library Constituency Casework Guide to Legal Help: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/legal-help/

House of Commons Guide to Complaints against solicitors and other lawyers: 
https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn03762/

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid: https://www.apg-legalaid.org/

From the APPG’s website:

“The APPG on Legal Aid provides bespoke training to MPs and their caseworkers on a range of subjects through the House of Commons Library. Studies and research have shown that as a consequence of the LASPO cuts there has been a huge increase in the number and complexity of legal problems that MPs are encountering in their surgeries. Our training is designed specifically with caseworkers in mind and provided by industry experts. To date, we have provided training in the following areas:

  • Legal Aid,
  • Immigration,
  • Housing Law,
  • Disability and Discrimination Law,
  • Employment Law,
  • Anti-Social Behaviour Orders and
  • Special Education Needs.

Feedback for the courses has been excellent. We have also developed courses in soft skills and interviewing techniques for new casework staff as part of the House of Commons induction process.

For further information about these courses, please check the ACT website.

We also provide briefings for individual MPs and select committees on various areas within legal aid. For further information, please contact Rohini.Teather@lapg.co.uk.”

Workplace Equality Networks

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Workplace Equality Networks (WENs) are an opportunity for groups of people to discuss and consider issues relevant to their situation or of interest to them.  In particular, WENs can be useful forums for groups protected by equality legislation.

Current networks include:

WENs are open to all pass holders in the Commons, PDS and Lords staff, contractors employed by the House, MPs, Lords and members’ staff.

Membership is not restricted to people who require a platform relating to this WEN but those involved are required to respect the aims of the Network.

For more information on Workplace Equality Networks, please see their page on the intranet here: https://intranet.parliament.uk/people-offices/groups-associations/bicameral-groups/workplace-equality-networks/

 

A Welcome from Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons
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Whether you are interested in working for an MP – or need advice on parliamentary procedures, the W4MP website is an excellent resource.

As anyone starting a new position here knows, trying to navigate the estate and its way of working can be a bit overwhelming.

That is why W4MP serves as such an indispensable font of advice – from helping you to find your feet as a new member of staff, to understanding the business of the Chamber.

As MPs, and therefore the Commons, could not function effectively without your hard work, it is important that you get the support you need.

W4MP will help you get orientated, introduce you to the best practices of your fellow researchers, case workers and office managers.

It will also provide a guide to the resources available from the House of Commons Library, the Parliamentary Intranet, and the Members’ Services Team.

There is information on representation, trade unions, and social activities – and a place to post small ads for the attention of fellow staff.

The site is run by an independent organisation on behalf of the House and welcomes contributions from experienced staff who want to share their expertise.

It is there for all staff, however long your service and wherever you work. I thoroughly recommend it to you.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons

October 2020

 

LWPSN – What’s On

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Labour Women’s Parliamentary Staff Network

Email: LWPSN@parliament.uk

(All virtual @12.30pm and joining details sent out to the network via email)

*Please note timings are approximates and some sessions may be subject to change

See past events here

Go back to the main LWPSN page here

DECEMBER 2020 – Women’s representation themed month

Tuesday 8 December 2020  |  Women in Westminster  |  1 hour

Rachel Reeves MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Labour MP for Leeds West, will be joining the network to talk about her book ‘Women of Westminster: The MPs Who Changed Politics’.

Join us for what should be a fascinating conversation about the battles fought by women from 1919 to 2019.  There will be an opportunity for questions.

Thursday 10 December 2020  |  Women, leadership and statistics  |  1 hour

Professor Rosie Campbell, Director of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London, will be joining the network for the last session of the winter to discuss the institute’s latest research produced with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, which has found that women political leaders are key to more equal and caring societies.  The report is based on an analysis of over 500 pieces of research into the impacts of women leaders in politics and public life, and shows that when women are able to exercise political leadership, there are gains for the whole of society.

You can read the full report here: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/women-political-leaders-key-to-more-equal-and-caring-societies

January 2021

12 January 2021  |  The Great Winter Get Together

LWPSN – Past Events

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Labour Women’s Parliamentary Staff Network

Past Events

See forthcoming events here

Go back to the main LWPSN page here

NOVEMBER 2020

Tuesday 24 November 2020  |  Journalists panel discussion on women in the media  |  1 hour

We’re excited to bring you a panel discussion on women’s experiences in the media with journalists from across the media who will share their insights into the challenges and opportunities they face bringing us the news from Westminster, the United Kingdom and around the world.  We will be joined by Esther Webber from the Times RedBox, and two other journalists to be confirmed.

 

Tuesday 17 November 2020  |  Preet Kaur Gill MP  |  40 mins

Preet Kaur Gill MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development and Member of Parliament for Birmingham Edgbaston, will be joining us to talk about her experiences in politics and discuss Labour’s view on how we can work more collaboratively with other countries around the world in a post Brexit era.

Thursday 12 November 2020  |  Women’s rights at work  |  40 mins

Join us for the second meeting with two trade union representatives – Jenny Symmons from the GMB and Lily Lewis from UNITE parliamentary staff union branches – who will brief the network on everything you need to know about your rights at work.  There will be ample opportunity for questions and useful information and links will be shared out with the network after the session.

Tuesday 10 November 2020  |  Sexual harassment and your rights  |  40 mins

We are delighted to be joined by Deeba Syed, Senior Legal Officer at Rights of Women, for a Q and A session on sexual harassment and your rights.  Deeba is a qualified solicitor, originally training in the financial sector and now specialising in employment law.  She is an experienced equality and women’s rights campaigner and activist.  She has previously worked in politics, communications and the charity sector.

OCTOBER 2020 – mental health and wellbeing focus for World Mental Health Day on 10th October

Tuesday 27 October 2020  |  Tackling Abuse in Public Life  |  1 hour

We are delighted that Catherine Anderson, CEO of the Jo Cox Foundation, will be joining us for a discussion on tackling abuse in public life and to tell us more about the work of the foundation and how we can get involved to help make a change.  Catherine is no stranger to Parliament having worked for Rory Stewart MP for a number of years.  The Foundation was established in 2016 by the friends and family of the late Jo Cox MP and is aiming to build a positive legacy for Jo.

Tuesday 20 October 2020  |  Great coffee get together  |  40 mins

This is an opportunity for just us to get together for a chat to share our recommendations on interesting things to read, what to watch and listen to.  This could be a book you’re reading at the moment, Podcast you’re listening to or an event you’re attending that may be useful to others.  Put the kettle on and check in with the network on how you’re doing and share some interesting things to get stuck into!

Thursday 15 October 2020  |  Women Political Advisors to the Shadow Cabinet  |  40 mins

Join us for a special session with the women advising members of the Shadow Cabinet including Sally Copley, Political Advisor (PAD) to Marsha de Cordova MP, Emma McNicholas, PAD to Lord Falconer of Thoroton (Charlie Falconer), Kate Robson, PAD to Cat Smith MP and Collette Bird, PAD to Jon Ashworth MP.

This much requested session will explore the role of an advisor, provide advice for those looking to progress their parliamentary careers and give the network an opportunity to meet and ask questions of these fantastic women.  Do not miss it!

Tuesday 13 October 2020  |  Looking after your mental health and wellbeing  |  1 hour

Dr Sonia Adesara is an NHS doctor, women’s activist and the former Director of 50:50 Parliament.  She will be talking to us about mental health and the effects of policies on women and give top tips on looking after our own health and wellbeing.  Do join us for what we’re sure will be an invaluable session for the network.

Tuesday 6 October 2020  |  Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP  |  40 mins

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan is Labour’s Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Member of Parliament for Tooting, A and E doctor and a woman that always gets her tone right!  We’re delighted she will be joining us for a conversation with the network on mental health and wellbeing. Please be prepared for an interactive conversation with Rosena.  There will be opportunities for questions.

SEPTEMBER 2020

Tuesday 22 September 2020  |  The Good Parliament  | 1 hour

The network will be joined by Professor Sarah Childs, Professor of Politics and Gender at Royal Holloway University of London and author of ‘The Good Parliament’ report which was published on 20th July 2016.  We will discuss this report with Professor Childs who made 43 recommendations focusing on three elements; equality of participation, parliamentary infrastructure and Commons culture.  We’d recommend reading the report in advance of this meeting which can be found here: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/media-library/sites/news/2016/july/20%20Jul%20Prof%20Sarah%20Childs%20The%20Good%20Parliament%20report.pdf

Thursday 17 September 2020  |  Writing good comms  |  40 mins

This session will cover top tips on writing good emails, engaging articles and press releases and how to properly brief journalists.  We are delighted to be joined by Georgina Bailey, Policy Editor for The House Magazine and lead for parliamentary campaigns coverage, as well as covering the work of All-Party Parliamentary Groups.  This session is a must for all communications staff and an opportunity to meet one of the women lobby journalists in Westminster. You can read all articles published by Georgina here: https://www.politicshome.com/thehouse/peer/georgina-bailey.htm

Tuesday 15 September 2020  |  Women’s rights at work  |  40 mins

Join us for the first of two meetings with two trade union representatives – Jenny Symmons from the GMB and Priya Dev from UNITE parliamentary staff union branches – who will brief the network on everything you need to know about your rights at work.  There will be ample opportunity for questions and useful information and links will be shared out with the network after the session.

Thursday 10 September 2020  |  Parliamentary procedures  |  1 hour

Come and join us to explore parliamentary procedures with two senior clerks from the Table Office and Public Bill Office in the House of Commons.  The clerks will be taking the network through tabling orderly oral and written questions, amending legislation, explain how legislation is passed through both houses of Parliament, and more! The time will be split into two half hour sessions.  Each presenter will talk to the network for approx.10 minutes followed by approx. 20 mins of questions from the network. There will be materials to take away afterwards.

Tuesday 8 September 2020  |  Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP  |  40 mins

We are joined at our first formal meeting of the autumn with the Mother of the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham, the Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP to discuss women’s participation in public life and her experiences in Parliament since first being elected to the House in 1982.  Questions will be read out that have been submitted in advance and some taken in real time.

 

Labour Women’s Parliamentary Staff Network – Privacy Policy

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Privacy Policy

We respect your privacy and are committed to protecting your personal data.  This privacy notice tells you how we, Labour Women’s Parliamentary Staff Network, will collect and use your personal data.

Why does Labour Women’s Parliamentary Staff Network need to collect and store personal data?

In order for us to provide you with a service we need to collect personal data for the purposes of allowing our members to connect and work together within the network and keeping you informed of our programme of events. In any event, we are committed to ensuring that the information we collect and use is appropriate for this purpose, and does not constitute an invasion of your privacy.

Will Labour Women’s Parliamentary Staff Network share my personal data with anyone else?

Your personal data will be shared with members of Labour Women’s Parliamentary Staff Network who have indicated their consent for their personal data to be shared, in a secure and protected way only. We will not pass your personal data on to third-party service providers. In the event that we do wish to pass your personal data to a third party we will only do so once we have obtained your consent.

How will Labour Women’s Parliamentary Staff Network use the personal data it collects about me?

Labour Women’s Parliamentary Staff Network will process (collect, store and use) the information you provide in a manner compatible with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We will endeavour to keep your information accurate and up to date, and not keep it for longer than is necessary.

Under what circumstances will Labour Women’s Parliamentary Staff Network contact me?

Our aim is not to be intrusive, and we undertake not to ask irrelevant or unnecessary questions. Moreover, the information you provide will be subject to rigorous measures and procedures to minimise the risk of unauthorised access or disclosure.

Can I find out the personal data that Labour Women’s Parliamentary Staff Network holds about me?

At your request, Labour Women’s Parliamentary Staff Network can confirm what information we hold about you and how it is processed.

Contact details for Labour Women’s Parliamentary Staff Network data queries:

Contact Name:Hannah Carson
Email: lwpsn@parliament.uk
Telephone: 07527 711409

Westminster Gym

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Exclusive gym for Parliamentary employees – work out, right next to work.  The Westminster Gym has all the latest facilities:

  • Fantastic gym including brand new Technogym treadmills, rowers, steppers, cycles and cross trainers all with TV screens and digital connectivity
  • Strength machines and free weights which now come with Technogym Rep range and counters – tone up, slim down or build muscle fast.
  • Fully Air conditioned Gym, Spin Studio, changing rooms and exercise studio – keep cool, even when the action gets hot.
  • Classes and therapies: Numerous classes including spinning, circuit-training, yoga and pilates, all included in your membership fee.
  • Changing Rooms, Lockers and Saunas
  • If you need some extra motivation or a more personal training plan, our friendly staff and team of Personal Trainers will take you in hand to help you achieve your goals.

The gym is managed by the Jubilee Hall Trust, a charity which uses the gym’s profits to run outreach community programmes to promote healthy lifestyles.  The Trust works in partnership with the Health, Safety & Wellbeing Service offering stretch and relaxation classes elsewhere on the Parliamentary Estate.

Please contact the Westminster Gym on x5546 or

email: westminstergym@jubileehalltrust.org  

Website: www.jubileehalltrust.org/westminster-gym  

All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group

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All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group

The All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group is a cross-party group of Members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords of all the main parties, including members from the Crossbenches in the Lords.

The Group has grown rapidly, from its first beginnings in the 1960s; in 1996 it had 47 members and it now has over 110. Associate membership of the Group is also open to staff of MPs and peers and staff working for the House of Commons or House of Lords.

The Group is not part of Humanists UK, but Humanists UK provides the secretariat for the Group.

For more information you can email Karen Wright, Humanists UK Public Affairs Manager and the APPHG Administrator.

The Group meets around four times a year to hear speakers and discuss relevant issues, as well as to share information and receive briefings on matters of interest. These matters are wide-ranging and include the promotion of a rational approach to bioethical, medical, and scientific issues; the defence of free speech, civil liberties, and education; constitutional issues and freedom of religion or belief; and other issues of relevance to humanists.

On 25 February 2020, members elected the following individuals as officers for the parliamentary term. 

Chair: Crispin Blunt MP (Conservative) 

Co-Chair: Baroness Bakewell DBE (Labour) 

Vice Chairs: Clive Lewis MP (Labour), Tommy Sheppard MP (SNP), Jeff Smith MP (Labour), Lord Warner of Brockley (Crossbencher), Lord Taverne of Pimlico (Liberal Democrats), Baroness Burt of Solihull (Liberal Democrats), and the Viscount Ridley (Conservative)

Secretary: Baroness Massey of Darwen (Labour) 

Treasurer: Lord Dubs of Battersea (Labour)

For more information, please contact Crispin Blunt MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA. Tel: 020 7219 2254. Email: crispin.blunt.mp@parliament.uk

or view the Group’s website: https://humanism.org.uk/about/humanists-in-parliament/

Christians in Parliament

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Christians in Parliament is an All-Party Parliamentary Group, which exists to support all Members and staff in their work in the Houses of Parliament.

We do this through:

  • Bible study and prayer groups, one-to-one contact and chapel services
  • Speaker events and discussion groups examining the truth and relevance of the Christian faith to personal and political life
  • Policy discussions and briefings informed by the Bible and Christian theology
  • Organising the National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast

 Particular events of interest may be:

  • weekly chapel services on Tuesday lunchtimes when Parliament is sitting
  • weekly prayer meeting for Parliamentary staff on Thursday lunchtimes

For further information, please see the Christians in Parliament website here: https://www.christiansinparliament.org.uk/

Follow them on Twitter: @CiPAPPG