Wellbeing classes in Westminster

The Parliamentary Health and Wellbeing service is running a number of classes related to maintaining and improving your health and wellbeing. These include mindfulness, meditation and relaxtion; Yoga and postural and relaxation classes.

Wellbeing classes will commence on 7 January 2019

For details see the Parliamentary Intranet

Gender-Sensitive Parliament Audit published

 The Gender-Sensitive Parliament Audit, carried out by members and staff of both Houses of Parliament, was published on Thursday 20 December 2018.

It finds that steady progress has been made in increasing the representation of women in both Houses, but there are still barriers to women standing as MPs or putting themselves forward to the House of Lords Appointments Commission.

Read more on the Parliament website

Rules and courtesies

An updated version of the ‘Rules of behaviour and courtesies in the House of Commons’ leaflet and the accompanying guide have been issued by the Speaker and the Deputy Speakers.

The new leaflet includes updated advice to Members on speaking in debates, Question Time, and conventions and courtesies in the Chamber.

Details and copies to download are published on the Parliamentary Intranet

One Hundred Years Ago: Votes for (Some) Women

Today is the centenary of the 1918 General Election when women over thirty and all men over the age of 21 were able to vote.

It also saw the first woman MP elected, though as Constance Markievicz was a member for ‎Sinn Féin she did not take her seat.

The photograph is of  House of Doors, by Kristina Clackson Bonnington, a sculpture that was in Westminster Hall last month. See https://www.parliament.uk/house-of-doors/ for more details.

House of Doors is supported by the Lord Speaker’s Advisory Panel on Works of Art and the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art.

Find out more about House of Doors at www.houseofdoors.org

Fawcett Society call for testimony on sexual harassment in politics

The Fawcett Society is working with Hogan Lovells, a global law firm which is providing pro bono (free) assistance, to gather and analyse the testimony of women in politics who have experienced sexual harassment.  The purpose of the analysis will be to draw out general themes from women’s testimony and identify possible policy responses.  The findings of the report will be published in an online report in the autumn of 2018 and publicised at an event in parliament.  The report will not identify the women that have given evidence to the project, either directly or indirectly.  With permission Fawcett would also like to publish some or all of the testimony (anonymised and with any identifying details removed) to create a public record using women’s own voices of the nature and impact of sexual harassment in our politics. 

Who are we hoping to obtain evidence from? 

We would like to obtain evidence from a wide range of women who have experienced sexual harassment while working in the political environment, including  

  • Those working/ volunteering in the parliamentary estate, 
  • Those working/ volunteering within political party structures. This includes volunteers, unpaid interns 
  • Those whose work or voluntary activity involves working alongside politicians or party workers 
  • MPs

How will the process of giving evidence work? 

You can agree to take part in the project by completing the consent form at the end of this document and returning it to testimony@fawcettsociety.org.uk

Download the consent form here: Reforming Parliament sexual harassment information document FINAL AUG 18

Changes to government email addresses

The Government Secure Intranet (GSi) network is being phased out across government, which means that organisations will be dropping ‘gsi’ from their email addressees.

Some organisations have already made this change, such as the DVLA and the FCO, and others will be changing theirs in the near future.

The migration will be completed by 31 March 2019, after which date any messages sent to a .gsi address will not be delivered.

We have already pro-actively emailed all of the relevant organisations on our MPs’ Hotline List, and several of the addresses have already bounced. We will update each address as we receive confirmation of the changes.

Invitation to contribute to Inquiry into Bullying and Harassment

On 19 July, the House resolved to set up an Inquiry similar to the Dame Laura Cox QC inquiry into bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment, of the staff of Members of Parliament and others engaged in Parliamentary work on their behalf.

The Inquiry, launched today, is being conducted by Gemma White QC.

Please visit this page to learn more, and for details on how to contribute to the Inquiry: https://intranet.parliament.uk/business-news/news-current-issues/news/2018/november/invitation-to-contribute-to-inquiry-into-bullying-and-harassment/