Work Experience

3rd May 2017

During our week of work experience in Geoffrey Cox’s office we have learnt many things and have been given many opportunities that we would not usually have on an ordinary trip to London. Being here has helped us to understand the world of politics in more detail and we have been able to establish our own opinions about the parties without being influenced by people around us or the media.

On our first day here we were warmly welcomed by Yasmin. Our first task was to research concerns people had about policy changes after the next General Election. One of these concerns was the triple lock. We researched the triple lock pledge and how it is being discussed within the most popular papers in the country. We had to re-watch recordings of what Theresa May actually said about the triple-lock in Prime Ministers Question. Then we constructed a briefing to give an overview of the policy and what this Government had promised to do about it.

Yasmin (Geoffrey’s Parliamentary Assistant) then gave us the chance to look through this week’s bulletin so we could decide what debates and discussions we wanted to watch in the House of Commons. This gave us the opportunity to watch things such as ‘Questions to the Secretary Of State for Exiting the European Union’ and even the opportunity to go and see the final ‘Prime Ministers Question Time’ between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn before the General Election.

On Tuesday, we were kindly given tickets to go and have a tour of the Houses of Parliament. This was extremely interesting as we found out a lot about the history of the building, the monarchy and of parliament itself. We now know why the building was built how it is and all about our past prime ministers and how the times were when they were in charge. We found out the roles in which each person has to take; this includes the door keepers and the speaker.

 After the tour, we watched the “Topical Questions to the Secretary Of State for Justice” where many things were discussed. One topic discussed was the Charlie Gard case. We both took an interest to this topic as we were very aware of this case as it’s been extremely popular in the media. From listening to the questions and responses we were able to understand that despite the matter being very important and hard-hitting; it was a court case in which the courts made the final decision so was unreasonable for the government to intervene as it was not a parliament matter.

After arriving back at the office learnt about some of the most important campaigns that Geoffrey’s constituents write to him about.  There were two different types of postcard that he had received that day including on the Neighbourhood Planning Bill and tax havens.

On Wednesday we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to watch the final Prime Ministers Question before the next General Election. We both loved it. It was amazing to experience such a tense atmosphere as Theresa and Jeremy were both trying to prove themselves to be the best for this country and how they both have the country’s best interests at heart. From this debate we were both able to understand and establish opinions on which party we would vote for if we were of voting age.

On Thursday we attended the ‘Topical Questions to the Secretary of State’ in the House of Commons. The topic was “Exiting the European Union”. We chose to go and watch this as we both take an interest in our countries future and what could happen when we leave the European Union as this will impact our generation immensely.

When we came back to the office our job was to research the Charlie Gard case to brief Geoffrey on the latest development of the case as people in his constituency had written to him about it. This case was mentioned in the House at the questions we attended on Tuesday (Questions to Secretary of State for Justice). We researched the actual case and our briefing included some key points that were made about the case during question time on Tuesday and how it was not an issue concerning the government, more an issue for courts.

To top our week off, we got the opportunity to go and see Parliament prorogue. We were very glad to have this opportunity as it only happens every five years. As it happens, this prorogation happened three years early as there has been a very sudden General Election called. This benefitted us as it would not normally have occurred so we were lucky to have the chance and go and watch.

We are very lucky to have been given the opportunity to work here for the week and we are very thankful to Geoffrey Cox and Yasmin for having us.

Josie Stewart-Reid and Chelsea Beavan

Tavistock College

Surgery Dates

Geoffrey holds regular surgeries. To book an appointment please click here or call 01822 612925.
Saturday 14th April
Bideford, Torrington
Saturday 21st April
Holsworthy, Tavistock