‘My week with a Tory MP’

Iain Stewart MP with Jack Smith
Iain Stewart MP with Jack Smith

After applying for an internship with the Social Mobility Foundation, I spent a week working alongside MK South MP Iain Stewart and his team, writes Jack Smith.

Despite feeling slightly out of place surrounded by so many conservatives, I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to work with such a fantastic team of people.

My first day was slightly uneventful, I spent the morning getting to know Iain’s team and being able to see first-hand what it is an MP’s team has to do was very interesting.

However, reading through a 72-page document on transport in MK wasn’t so much fun, but it was made bearable with some class banter with members of Iain’s team.

It was interesting to be able to speak to members of the civil service and find out how they’d got into politics, what they enjoyed about their work and how they’d ended up working with Iain.

It was also encouraging to find out a little bit about their personal backgrounds and to know that actually, they were genuine down to earth people with a passion for what they do.

Tuesday was much more eventful as I was in working in Westminster. The atmosphere was incredible and it was amazing to be able to watch the Chancellor George Osborne answer questions in the House of Commons, much more entertaining than watching it on BBC Parliament.

Sitting in on a meeting with Iain Stewart was great too and after chatting with him I realised he was probably the most real and down to earth politician I’d ever met and after a drink with him and visiting MK Councillor Andy Dransfield in the famous Strangers Bar, I even began to like the conservatives.

Wednesday involved working within the office again in MK and I finally finished summarising the 72-page report on transport in MK, down to just 12 pages instead.

Thursday was very eventful, with a lively atmosphere based down in London again.

The APPG Complex Regional Pain Syndrome was great and I got to see so many inspiring people who were passionate about improving the understanding and the research into CRPS, which could ultimately lead to saving more lives.

I was then lucky enough to sit in on a meeting at the Speakers house with John Bercow, Iain Stewart and several other MPs with the Chief Fire Officer and Deputy Fire Officer for Bucks.

It was fascinating to hear they’d successfully managed to change the module of how fire and rescue service was run and that they were working at the highest standard in the country.

It was a very positive meeting to sit in on and I am very grateful to have been given the chance to attend.

My last day was slightly different as I got to shadow Iain Stewart on visits to some of his constituents.

We met several different people including the CEO of Milton Keynes hospital and a gentleman who had some interesting ideas on road safety after having a very successful career in motor sports he wanted to be able to give something back to the local community and educate young drivers.

My week has been completely fantastic and I am very grateful to the Social Mobility Foundation for providing me with this opportunity and to the amazing team that allowed me to work with them for the week.