The new Government has hit the ground running making an excellent start before Parliament rose for Summer Recess. The new Prime Minister had a huge reshuffle of Ministers and I am delighted to say the Midlands is well represented.
On the 17th July I was delighted to be appointed a Whip by Theresa May. The Whip’s Office is a great team to be in. All of the MPs in there, which includes neighbouring MPs Andrew Griffiths and Christopher Pincher, and the other staff are extremely hard-working. I am so pleased I will be even more involved in delivering my party’s manifesto commitments.
Working in the Government Whips Office is very interesting as we deal with a huge range of topics and every piece of legislation. Even though we do indeed work as a team, each Whip has two Government Departments to look after.
I have the Law Offices, which includes the Attorney General’s Office, and also the new Department for International Trade being headed by Secretary of State Liam Fox MP. I am delighted to be back working with the Attorney General Jeremy Wright, I was his Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) before the 2015 General Election so I know the Department well.
International Trade is new to me but as a strong supporter of Brexit I am keen to see the UK negotiating new trade deals with the rest of the world and so aiding the Secretary of State in his work is of great interest to me. There will be a great deal of Government focus on this department to help us forge our new relationship with the rest of the world outside the EU and recognising this the Department’s offices are situated in the Foreign Office to ensure the two departments work hand in hand.
You may think working in the Whips office means I spend my time like the characters in Lord Dobbs’ ‘House of Cards’, but the reality is rather different. My days are typically filled with regular meetings with my fellow Whips and also the Departments I am responsible for. I now sit on the front bench with my Ministerial colleagues as the duty Whip on hand to help and not just when my own Departments are called. I was on hand to support Prime Minister May during her statement regarding the recent G20 summit.
Another of my jobs is to support the introduction and smooth completion of Bills going through Parliament. The first Bill I have helped steer through its final Commons stages alongside the Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns is the Wales Bill which has now progressed to the Lords. This legislation amends the 2006 Government of Wales Act and addresses the functions of Ministers in Wales. Something different to cut my teeth on.
Even though this Government and the new Ministerial team is in its infancy it has achieved so much good already, including a revised safer agreement on the Hinckley Point Nuclear Power Plant, and there is more to come. When Theresa May first spoke as Prime Minister she told everyone she would deliver a Country that works for all and I look forward to working with my fellow Whips and Ministers to make this a reality.
(This article was originally written for the Burton Mail).