Course Details:

Parliament: A guide for newly elected MPs

Audience: New MPs

For newly elected MPs, arriving in the Commons is sure to be exhilarating, but may also be daunting. New MPs are often surprised to find no formal training or advice offered, and are left to find their own way around Parliament’s labyrinthine rules and customs.


The day will run from 10am to 4pm in Westminster and will cover:

  • Setting up your office and hiring staff

  • Navigating the strict expenses rules

  • How to raise issues in Parliament

  • Dealing with the media

  • Making the most of your time in Westminster

Delivering the sessions will be a senior former MP who has recently vacated their seat, experienced political correspondent Andy McSmith and Fleet Street journalist turned Director of Communications James Robinson.

Former MP:

Our trainer, who until the 2019 election was a high-profile Member of Parliament, will provide advice on setting up an office, hiring staff and the strict rules about claiming expenses. They will also run a session on how to use your time in Parliament - both at constituency and national levels. So many issues are raised in Parliament that – to quote Bagehot – “it is hard to keep your head in it.” You will need to choose your focus early on if you want to achieve success.

Andy McSmith:

Andy will cover the different ways MPs can raise issues in Parliament, including intervening in debates, initiating debates, asking written or oral questions, or presenting bills. Andy was a Lobby Correspondent for a range of national newspapers for more than 25 years. He has written about and met every serving Prime Minister from Margaret Thatcher onwards.

James Robinson:

Dealing with journalists will form an important part of your political career. James, who spent over 20 years on Fleet Street and worked as a Director of Communications for a senior Member of Parliament, will provide invaluable advice on working with the media. 

Who this course is for:

This course is open to all new MPs, from any political party, and we anticipate a politically mixed audience. The day will focus on parliamentary work. No advice will be offered on political campaigning, and there will be no political debate. 

The Scheme of MP's Business Costs and Expenses recognises courses that focus on a Member's parliamentary work as a 'claimable cost', which can be reclaimed from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).

To be the first to know when the next course is taking place, email us at and we will be in touch.