Life on the Houses of Parliament Fast Stream

I graduated from the University of Exeter with a degree in International Relations in July 2014 and started working for the House of Commons the following October, so I’ve just started my second year within the House.

My current role is in one of the House’s procedural offices, the Journal Office. My office produces the official record of proceedings and decisions in the House (the Journal). I deal specifically with papers laid before the House, particularly with regard to secondary legislation and the processes it goes through in the House. I’m also the Second Clerk to the Procedure Committee which considers the practice and procedure of the House.

The Fast Stream was originally a bit of a random application ‘just to see how far I could get’ but I soon really wanted a place on the Houses of Parliament Fast Stream. Being offered the job was unexpected but something I knew I could never turn down!

The Fast Stream is developing my potential and giving me so many opportunities for learning and training. It’s been really good to be able to work with such a wide variety of people—colleagues at all levels, MPs, civil servants and members of the public.

At the moment, I’m really enjoying my work and learning a lot! I’m only in my second year of working for the House but I’m looking forward to moving around to different areas of my department and the House service to have a wider knowledge of the different aspects of the House’s work.

Working in a procedural office is giving me a good grounding in knowledge of the procedures of the House (although I’m barely scratching the surface!) but I’m also really looking forward to working for a departmental select committee in the next couple of years.

I don’t think I can choose a single proudest moment; there is so much I love about my job and am proud of.

I love being able to see my work having an effect. Sometimes I’ll advise an MP on the procedures of presenting a petition or I’ll draft a petition for them and then I’m able to watch them present the petition in the Chamber. It’s also very rewarding to be able to help members of the public with their petitions.

After the election, I assisted with the ‘swearing-in’ of MPs. I had the opportunity to sit at the Table in front of the Speaker’s Chair while the House was sitting to keep track of which MPs had sworn in.

Fast Streamers are on the ‘division duty’ rota. When the division bells ring, we have to be in the lobby within two minutes to take the names of the MPs who walk through to vote. Tasks like these make you realise how unique working for the House of Commons is!

The House of Commons is a place that I’m really proud to work in... and I still find it crazy that I get to turn up to the Palace of Westminster for work!


Check out these Vines produced and tweeted by current Parliamentary Fast Streamers to see what it's like to work in the Palace of Westminster.

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