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  • Monday, 15 July 2024
UK MP

New UK MP Feels 'First Day at School' Excitement

A section of Parliament has been turned into a welcome center for the newly-elected MPs, where officials in suits greet the newcomers as they learn their way around Westminster.

Finding Their Way

Over half of the new MPs are completely new to the Commons and were seen navigating their way around on Monday. It's understandable, given the complexity of the Houses of Parliament, a sprawling gothic structure covering eight acres, with 100 staircases, over 1,000 rooms, and three miles of passageways.

Essential Tools for New MPs

Conservative MP Ben Obese-Jecty mentioned that a map is a crucial tool for navigating the "labyrinthine" corridors of Westminster. New MPs also receive information on new laptops and how to hire staff.

First Day Feelings

"It feels very much like the first day at school," said Ben Obese-Jecty, MP for Huntingdon. "There's a lot of confusion about where to go, where the lockers are, and which rooms to be in - I expect everyone will be late for everything for at least the first couple of weeks."

The Buddy System

Each new MP is paired with a parliamentary staff member in a 'buddy system' to help them find their way. Upon their victory, MPs received a white envelope from the Returning Officer containing a welcome letter from the House of Commons clerk and information about salaries, pensions, expenses, and staff payments.

First Glimpses

Some eager new MPs began arriving on Friday, while others rested after long election nights. This week marks the first real look many MPs have had inside the halls and chambers before the new Parliament starts on Tuesday.

New MPs' Excitement

Carla Denyer, Green Party co-leader and new MP for Bristol Central, was eager to see her three new colleagues at Westminster for the first time since the election and to give them a big hug.

Warm Welcomes

The 2024 intake entered Parliament through Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the building, dating back to 1097. MPs with newly-printed passes were welcomed at a large stall set up to greet them.

Orientation

Everyone pitched in to show the newcomers around. The buddies first take the new members to the reception area in Portcullis House, a large glass atrium with cafes, restaurants, offices, and committee rooms.

Getting Settled

New MPs receive security passes and keys for lockers since office assignments take some time. Adam Jogee, the newly elected MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, described entering the building as "hugely daunting, massively exciting."

Security Measures

MPs are also provided with panic alarms, reflecting increased security concerns. The parliamentary security team set up a mock front door to demonstrate security measures that can be installed at MPs' homes and constituency offices.

Preparing for the First Vote

New MPs, eager to "hit the ground running," won't wait long before their first vote. On Tuesday at 2:30 PM, MPs and peers will gather in the House of Lords to hear a Royal Commission formally authorize the new Parliament. The State Opening of Parliament is scheduled for Wednesday, July 17, when the King will outline the Labour government's legislative plans for the next five years.

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