Non-politics event for Lucy Frazer as she tells Rotarians and Inner Wheel members about being a new MP in Parliament

MP Lucy Frazer with Ely Hereward Rotary Club Jeff Hide

MP Lucy Frazer with Ely Hereward Rotary Club Jeff Hide - Credit: Archant

Everything bar politics was the order of the day for MP Lucy Frazer when she addressed a Rotary and Inner Wheel meeting in Ely.

Ely Hereward Rotary Club hosted the MP at St Peter’s House, Ely where she gave a presentation covering non-party political aspects of being a new MP and the pathway to understanding and using the system in Parliament.

The meeting was also attended by members of Rotary Club of Ely and the Ely Inner Wheel Club.

The MP described the experience of arriving in the House of Commons as a new MP, exhausted from a long campaign, to find that there was no formal support or guidance on procedure and that MPs had to select and appoint their own staff, waiting to be allocated an office.

Her two rooms have the advantage of being within easy reach of the chamber for votes (which have to be attended within eight minutes of the call) but are both very small and one room is windowless.

She described the way in which back-benchers work for their constituents and forward their ideas by sustained lobbying of ministers and civil servants and feels she has already been able to make a real difference.

She also described the strongly adversarial nature of parliament and some of the “tricks of the trade” that are used to gain political advantage. Because the last election left the Conservative Party without a majority, lobbying has become easier as backbench support is more vital to the Government, and because all MPs, including ministers, are required to be available for votes at all times and are forced to remain within the building.

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Ministers are also present in the lobbies during votes and can be approached with issues then. One of her main interests as an MP is education and she sits on the Education select committee. She has also been Parliamentary Private secretary to a sequence of ministers – currently to the Minister of Justice, which involves her in the criminal justice system and prisons. She said that she works even longer hours than she did as a barrister!

After the talk questions were freely and fully answered before everyone enjoyed a buffet, when individual members were able to discuss matters of personal and local interest with their very active MP.