Anniversary of the death of Jo Cox

From Parliamentary website:

One year on from the tragic death of Jo Cox, the Member for Batley and Spen, the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP, has issued the following message of remembrance:

Jo Cox was taken from us cruelly last year. As she made her way to a constituency meeting in Batley and Spen, West Yorkshire – the place where she was born and which she served as a fantastic Member of Parliament – her life was tragically cut short.

One year on, it is with great sadness – but with warm memories – that I send my deepest condolences to her husband, Brendan, and their two children, Lejla and Cuillin – as well as to her family and friends. The pain that they have had to endure is unimaginable and my thoughts are with them all.

Jo spent her life serving and campaigning to bring people together through her charity work and her work as a Member of Parliament. As she so poignantly described in her maiden speech: ‘We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us.’ Her warmth, generosity and compassion will be a lasting legacy.

I didn’t know Jo until she was elected and therefore I was privileged to know her for just one year. But in the year that I did know her, I saw and heard her a great deal. She made a huge impact on me and my strong sense is that she made a huge impact on everyone around us. She came into politics for all the rights reasons and was doing a magnificent job.

It is most fitting her inclusive nature has inspired The Great Get Together, which will take place this weekend. In her memory, thousands of people will host or attend street parties and celebrations of that life, celebrations that will boost community spirit.

Jo’s killing was an attack on democracy which shook the world. It was an act of terror, designed not only to strike an individual but to undermine our freedom.

In her honour, in Jo’s honour, and as we begin this new Parliament, it is incumbent upon us all to rededicate ourselves to our democracy, and stand together in the face of those who seek to destroy it.

The Great Get Together

In honour of Jo’s belief that ‘we have we have far more in common than that which divides us’, the Jo Cox Foundation is organising The Great Get Together on the weekend of 16-18 June across the UK.

Can’t get into your Banner account?

It’s OK, it’s not you.

Banner has temporarily disabled all of the bespoke stationery accounts whilst they update their records following the General Election.  They’re working on it at the moment, but are not yet able to say when they will be re-enabled.

The general accounts are still accessible.

Advice and Support from Customer Services

For those of you who are new to working for a Member of Parliament, or who are continuing to work for your newly re-elected Member, you might like to know that Chris Sear, Head of Customer Services for the Customer Team, is very happy to discuss any issues you might have.

Chris can be contacted by email at

You might also like to know that two events for Members’ staff are planned and more will be set up shortly. There is an event in Westminster – in the Attlee Suite in portcullis House – on 7 July and in Scotland (location to be confirmed) on 11 July. The programmes are varied and will cover a number of different services that will help you with your work, and are a great opportunity to meet House staff and each other. If you are interested in attending these please let the Customer Team  know. We will post full details on w4mp as soon as we have them.

New MP? Make sure you register with the Information Commissioner.

Congratulations on being elected/re-elected to Parliament!

One of the most important things you must do right away is to register with the Information Commissioner.  It’s really easy to do, by going to their website here: and select ‘Elected representative’ from the drop-down list.  It will cost you £35 to register.

You can find lots of useful information about your rights and obligations under the Data Protection Act on the intranet here:


Is your data correct on Wikidata?

We’ve had a note from Andy Mabbett about MPs and Wikidata:

The days after a general election are a good time to remind MPs and their staff that Wikipedia has a biography of every MP. I’ve written before about how MPs can work with Wikipedia  and its sister projects, to ensure that those articles are complete and up-to-date.  Several items of data about MPs, such as their website, Twitter name and Facebook profile, and whether Wikipedia has an openly-licensed image of them, are stored in one of those sister projects, a central database called Wikidata, so that they can be accessed not only by Wikipedias in many languages, but by anyone wanting them, as linked, open data, for reuse in other websites or apps.

Wikipedia volunteers are currently busy ensuring that the recent election results are accurately reflected – noting former MPs, updating data about those who continue, and, of course adding new ones. Nonetheless, it would be great if  staff could assist this process to check the details held about their members is complete.

Accordingly these two Wikidata pages show:

data about new MPs

data about all MPs in the new parliament.
(where that is shown in
their entry)

And we’d be very grateful for your effort in ensuring it is accurate.

Hung Parliaments: Hansard Society report

With the country facing a hung Parliament, how will a government be formed and then sustained in office? Plotting a roadmap through the constitutional issues, this paper highlights and explains key parliamentary dates and events that will shape the process and the impact it may have on the way Parliament works.

A new Hansard Society report will give you more background

Read the report.

Speaker’s Parliamentary Placement Scheme: apply by 11 June

Applications for the Speaker’s Scheme are now open. Closing date is Sunday 11 June, midnight.

Full details on the Creative Society website.



We believe Parliament should be accessible to everyone. We are widening access by offering a 9 month paid placement to people who have the skills, passion and potential to work here but don’t have access to the traditional routes in. 

There are 10 positions available with MPs from different political parties. The Scheme is open to people of any age above the legal working age, from all walks of life and every nation and region in the UK. In previous years, successful candidates have ranged from school leavers, to those in their mid-50s, and they moved to London from many different parts of the UK.

Please visit our FAQ page if you are in doubt as to whether you are eligible to apply for this scheme, and our intern profiles page to learn about the interns who were on the scheme this year.

Successful candidates will spend their time getting to understand parliament by working with an MP in their office from Monday – Thursday. They will spend their Fridays in different departments in the House of Commons to gain an insight into how Parliament functions. Each intern will work in 2 departments, rotating halfway through the scheme. Examples of departments they could be working in are the House of Commons Library, Governance Office and Visitor Services. The scheme also provides interns with: a chance to find out how business interacts with politics through a series of corporate away days hosted by the scheme sponsors; a change to learn more about different career paths in politics through series of Masterclasses ; and a personal career coach to help with finding employment at the end of the scheme.

The Scheme gives successful candidates a detailed understanding of how the House of Commons operates, providing them with work experience in the political sector along with the experience of working as part of a team in a small office environment. The aim is to equip participants with the skills and knowledge necessary to secure full-time employment after the scheme. Many of the interns previously on the scheme still work in the House of Commons as Parliamentary Assistants or in other departments.

The Scheme is due to start in September, date TBC.  During the first two weeks, successful candidates will be provided with tours of the House of Commons and introductory talks on the workings of it, as well as training in Microsoft Office, including introductions to Word, Excel and Outlook to equip candidates with a basic working knowledge.

Successful candidates will need to complete a comprehensive security check in order to gain full access to parliament.

The Speaker’s Parliamentary Placements Scheme welcomes enquiries and applications from everyone and values diversity in its workforce.

The Speaker’s Parliamentary Placements Scheme is an initiative currently led by Dan Jarvis MP with strong support from the Speaker of the House of Commons.

New w4mp archive launched

We’ve been running w4mp since 2010 and in that time have written hundreds of guides to good practice. The world has changed a lot since then (you may have noticed) and some of the guides are no longer relevant. Others have been superseded by new and improved services, including the House of Commons Library and the Parliamentary intranet.

We’re therefore ‘retiring’ all of the older guides and will maintain a smaller selection of relevant (and updated) material on this site in the Guides section.

Most of the older material can be found on our new archive website, at – clearly marked as ‘archive’ and for research purposes only.

Archive site
Archive site

Portcullis House Access Changes

It’s worth noting that Portcullis House search and screening will be closed from Monday 8 May until Tuesday 6 June, inclusive. 

Between 8.00am-6.00pm passholders can still access the estate via this entrance and passholders and visitors will be able to exit in the usual way.

The nearest alternative visitor access points are 1 Parliament Street and Cromwell Green Entrance.

Further information

For more information please contact the Serjeant at Arms Office ( or on x0145.