NEWS from the w4mp channel, relevant to everyone working in Parliament.

Please let us know of items you think will be of interest – email 

Latest news below, or you can read all news items.

Training for Staff

We have been sent details of courses from Learning and Development.  This training is free for Members’ staff to attend, the only cost from your end would be travel and accommodation, and  these costs can be claimed back through IPSA. Courses offered have been designed to develop and build skills in a range of core areas for Members’ staff. For full details see the w4mp training page.

Data Protection and Elected Representatives

Constituents bring lots of problems to the attention of their MP, and ask for help to resolve them.  But how many times have you contacted the relevant agency only to be told “Sorry we can’t give you that information, because of the Data Protection Act”.  Infuriating, isn’t it?  Especially since they are, in many cases, wrong. It is always good practice to get written consent from constituents who ask you to take up issues on their behalf, even if you think you won’t need it.…

Political Studies Association schools video competition

Do you have to be superman or Superwoman to be US President? Now in its sixth year, the PSA Schools Video Competition is a highlight in the PSA’s calendar of activities to engage young people in the study of politics. The annual short film competition, sponsored by YouGov, is open to post-16 students who will be studying during the academic year 2016-17. This year’s competition asks students to explore the question: “Do you have to be Superman/Superwoman to be US President?”. Groups are invited to submit…

Regional Open Day for Constituency Staff: Manchester

The House of Commons Service regularly holds regional open days for constituency staff throughout the United Kingdom and the next one is in Manchester on November 10. To book your place at an event or for further information please contact the Central Communications Team by email ( or on x0532. About the events The days include: an overview of the services that the House provides a focus on the services that constituency staff have said matter most to them – access to digital services, learning &…

Extended opening hours for MP tax credit hotline

HMRC is trialling extended opening hours for the MP’s Tax Credit hotline.  It will now run from 8am to 6pm and you can find the number on our hotlines list (intranet only)

Spaces on Writing Skills course, Glasgow

There are still available places for the essential Writing Skills course offered in Scotland on 20 September for MP staff.  If you would like to attend just click on the highlighted course name below and it will take you directly to the course booking page provided that you are already logged in to the Parliamentary network. Alternatively contact the Commons Learning and Development team Places on these courses are free for staff and travel expenses can be reclaimed via IPSA.             GLASGOW 20-Sept 10:00-…

Moving Westminster from… Westminster

The proposals to refurbish the Palace of Westminster from the Restoration and Renewal Programme  have received extensive media coverage, with Metro reporting: “MPs could be forced to move out of the Houses of Parliament for six years while the buildings undergo major renovations. The Palace of Westminster faces an ‘impending crisis’ and is at risk of a ‘catastrophic event’, MPs and peers have warned.” This in turn led to a rash of petitions calling for Parliament to be permanently located out of London, such as this one…

Hoby’s First Hundred

Today we publish the one hundredth cartoon drawn for w4mp by the talented Hoby, and we’ve pulled together ten of the best to commemorate this important milestone. Each month we’ve glimpsed the inner workings of Parliament, and been shocked, awed and occasionally deeply embarrassed by what we’ve found. Onward to the next century!

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Five new POSTnotes

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology has recently published the following POSTnotes: Managing the UK Plutonium Stockpile This POSTnote describes the state of the plutonium stockpile, current plutonium policy and the options for managing the plutonium: indefinite storage, reuse in UK power plants, conversion to fuel to send overseas and disposal as waste. It then outlines the safety, security, economic and energy policy implications of these options. Integrating Health and Social Care The four UK nations have committed to better integration between health and…

Parliament Week drop in session, 8 September

This year’s UK Parliament Week will take place from 14-20 November 2016. Preparations are now in full swing, but we need your help. This is your chance to get constituents more involved in Parliament. The UK Parliament Week project team are hosting an informal drop-in session with refreshments on 8 September in Portcullis House, Room Q, from 12-4pm where you’ll be invited to: Collect an information pack  about UK Parliament Week Fill out your resource request form Find out if there are events registered in your constituency…