Nick Jones, Director of Compliance and Information, Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority talks about his experience working alongside Dr James Davies MP
I signed up to the Attachment Scheme on the basis that it would broaden my understanding of Parliament, and how all different aspects and people therein affects the organisation I work in and what I do. Very much the point of the scheme. It achieved that as I expected it to. What I hadn’t appreciated was how enjoyable it would be. Not in a frivolous sense but in spending time with some great people, including of course the MP I was attached to, doing really important and worthwhile things.
I was attached to Dr James Davies, MP for Vale of Clwyd. I spent the day in the constituency with him and his small team doing a range of interesting things – a surgery in Tesco really seeing how interested people are in national events and bringing their interests to bear on their MP; a tour with a local primary school class looking at fair trade products; visit to a Welsh Gold facility; town council Britain in Bloom preparations; a photo-call getting ready for local elections; and a tour of the area looking at the centrality of economic regeneration – investment and jobs.
A few weeks later, I spent the day with Dr Davies in Parliament. He shares an office with three other MPs from Wales – although not for much longer as it is to become the office for David Cameron as he resumes MP duties – and I was surprised at the friendly and busy environment.
Following various meetings and a trip to the House of Commons viewing gallery for Home Office questions the highlight for me was attending Health Select Committee, of which Dr Davies is a member. I work in one of the Department of Health’s Arms-Length Bodies so this was particularly useful in the event of a future appearance – especially the briefing I received before and after the meeting. Since completing the attachment the recent and tragic death of Jo Cox MP has caused me to reflect. MPs work really hard; they do good things; and my appreciation of the things they do (already high) is even greater. I commend the scheme.
Words by Nick Jones