MP Attachment Scheme Case Study


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

Key Learning Points

Nick Jone's top three learning points:

Experienced a Parliamentary Select Committee and the role of its Member

Relationship between the individual constituent, MP and the State

House of Commons working practices

Influence on Role

Influence on Nick Jone's current role:

Giving me a greater depth and breadth of understanding in relation to Parliament

Acknowledging the special role of the MP and the balancing of competing interests that can be applied more generally

How can I get involved?

The IPT's unique training scheme provides an invaluable development opportunity for civil servants to build upon their parliamentary knowledge through an arranged attachment to an MP.

The Training Team

For further information including full programme details and prices, please contact:

Mark Perry

Training Coordinator

0207 839 9414