This is a placement in the office of Labour and Co-operative MP (Member of Parliament) for Feltham and Heston, Seema Malhotra MP who since October 2016 has been a Member of the influential Select Committee for Exiting the European Union. In September 2015 she was appointed Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, number two in Labour's Treasury team - a post she held until June 2016.
Prior to that, in August 2014, she was appointed a Shadow Home Office Minister. She was formerly an Opposition Whip and Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party Business Interest Group. She is a former Chair of the national Fabian Society Executive and founder and President of the Fabian Women’s Network.
This position offers the successful candidate the opportunity to work within a busy political office. The intern will learn how to deal with the day to day tasks of such an office including Parliamentary, Research and Diary skills, and experience of front line politics in Westminster. For anyone interested in real politics in Britain, this is an incredible opportunity to view it up close and behind the scenes. The internship will mostly based in Westminster with some project work in the constituency.
2017 Intern Reflection:
My experience in the office of Seema Malhotra MP has been an incredibly rewarding whirlwind thus far. When I first arrived in London, I was thrown into the last stretches of an unanticipated campaign season ahead of the June 8th General Election. This gave me an intimate perspective both of Seema’s constituency in Greater London, and of how campaigns are run in the UK (quite differently from campaigns in the U.S.). Staying with Seema and her staff members in the constituency until 4 AM on election day to take part in the “count,” I witnessed a Labour party, fractured in light of the 2016 Brexit referendum and Jeremy Corbyn’s controversial leadership, gain sufficient seats from the Conservatives to yield a “hung parliament.”
Returning to Westminster, I learned about the many quirks and formalities of the two houses, how a bill becomes a law, how debates take place, how questions are tabled, and how different MPs interact, within and cross party. My day-to-day tasks have included researching and writing questions for weekly debates (on issues including international development, Israel/Palestine, the effect of Brexit on women, and productivity), event-planning, writing research briefs and writing/preparing policy articles for publication, conducting constituent casework, and performing ad-hoc political tasks. I also accompanied Seema for several interviews at the BBC and Sky News, located in Westminister just around Parliament Square, and conducted pre-interview preparation.
I truly feel immersed within British politics, and have experienced a real breadth of British politics. Working out of Hounslow during the campaign provided me an excellent background for my work at Westminster. Seema and each member of the office could hardly have been more welcoming, instructive, intelligent, and ready to offer me real experience writing and performing research-based tasks. Even the necessary administrative tasks that accompany any political job (stuffing envelopes, writing thank you letters) were enjoyable, and involved participation from all other staff members. I experienced something new each day, saw my writing in published form on several occasions, and now understand the daily tasks and unique level of dedication required of any political job.
Sunaina Danziger '19
2016 Intern Reflection:
During arguably one of the most hectic times in recent British political history, my internship thus far in the office of Seema Malhotra MP has been a whirlwind of experiences, emotions and challenges. Some of what I have experienced includes but is certainly not limited to:
1. Campaigning in a by-election and the Vote Remain campaign,
2. Experiencing the tragic death of a fellow Labour MP
3. Watching the UK vote to leave the European Union
4. Watching the resignation of the Prime Minister which has triggered a leadership contest within the Government and;
5. The resignation of the Shadow Cabinet in protest of current Labour party leadership, also triggering a possible leadership contest within the opposition party.
I have truly experienced a unique breadth of British politics. As a result of these recent unfoldings, I have had a firsthand look at how some of the most complex processes in British politics takes place and my internship is only halfway done! From learning simply how a bill becomes a law, how a referendum works, and how campaigns are run, each day I have been immersively exposed to some of the most interesting and complicated aspects of British politics. I have enjoyed every minute of my experience thus far, having been welcomed warmly by everyone in the office and having learned so much during my short time here. My day to day tasks vary from researching questions for Treasury questions, conducting constituent casework, creating research briefs on amendments to the Finance Bill 2016 and undertaking a project on the impact of social media on the 2015 General election. Each day brings something new and exciting, and I feel incredibly fortunate to be working in an environment that is supportive, exciting and challenging, and where I feel that the work I’m doing is both important and impactful.
Hannah Warntjes '18
2015 Intern Reflection:
This summer, I had the pleasure of working in the office of Seema Malhotra MP. Almost immediately, I was immersed in to a fast-paced environment in which every moment I was required to think on my feet (even if it was how to be productive when the internet wasn’t working). Throughout the course of the summer, I have researched violence against women and managed Seema’s diary. With regards to Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), I created an up to date briefing on all of the most recent statistics in Britain ranging from crime rates to prosecution rates to attitudes towards rape and sexual assault. Additionally, I have spent time in the constituency with Seema, attending different workshops at schools, and seeing how law and policy truly has an on the ground effect. Living in London has been a whirlwind and I feel lucky to have worked with coworkers who not only pushed me intellectually, but also taught me the importance of striking a work-life balance.
Jessie Wyatt '16