New MPs head to Westminster for ‘intense’ first day on the job

Hundreds of new MPs descended on Westminster on Monday for their first day in their new jobs, to be met with a blizzard of briefings and tours.

Parliament’s Westminster Hall, where Elizabeth II lay in state before her funeral, was converted into a reception for the 335 new MPs, where each was met by a “buddy”, a member of parliamentary staff whose job was to show them the ropes.

That includes a tour of the parliamentary estate, briefings from security and standards teams and advice on how to set up their new office.

New Green MPs – London
The four new Green MPs arrived on Monday, the first time they had met since their election (Ian West/PA)

There was even a designated stop on the tour for a photograph in Westminster Hall itself.

Adam Jogee, the new MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme and one of 214 new Labour MPs, told the PA news agency: “It’s a lot of information, which a few days after six weeks on the campaign trail has been pretty intense, a bit like going back to school really.”

It can also be a sobering experience.

One MP elected on Thursday said it was their first job where they had received a panic alarm on the first day.

Plaid Cymru Leader Rhun ap Iorwerth (right), joins the four Plaid Cymru MPs from left, Ben Lake, Ann Davies, Liz Saville Roberts and Llinos Medi who won seats in the 2024 General Election
Plaid Cymru Leader Rhun ap Iorwerth (right), joins the four Plaid Cymru MPs from left, Ben Lake, Ann Davies, Liz Saville Roberts and Llinos Medi who won seats in the 2024 General Election (Ian West/PA)

When they arrive, new MPs have little in the way of resources.

They will have to hot desk for a few weeks before their offices are allocated, and they do not yet have the staff to deal with constituents or parliamentary business.

Despite not setting up their official email addresses until their arrival in Westminster, several have already been contacted by campaign groups hoping to secure their support.

Some of the smaller parties set out their agendas early, with the Green Party and Plaid Cymru both staging photocalls for journalists to announce their intention of “holding Labour to account”.

Meanwhile, Labour’s new contingent had to join their colleagues across the road in Church House, by Westminster Abbey, to find a room large enough for their first party meeting.

Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer seem from above standing with the Labour Party's MPs
Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer stands with the Labour Party’s MPs (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Asked what she hoped to achieve over the next five years, Julie Minns, the new Labour MP for Carlisle, told PA she was more focused on getting her constituency office set up in the next five days.

She said: “I want to make sure I’ve got an office, I’ve got staff so I can start supporting my constituents.”

Others had more urgent needs to attend to, with one new MP having to rush off to buy new shoes after his existing pair did not survive the campaign trail.

But all spoke about how excited and privileged they felt to have finally arrived in Westminster.

Ben Obese-Jecty, the new Conservative MP for Huntingdon, told PA: “It’s a fantastic feeling to be here.

“At the end of a long campaign, the elation of winning the election myself and to be made a member of Parliament, to then come here and be standing in Westminster Hall is an incredible experience.

“It’s such a place of history, such an illustrious location and to be here now knowing I’m part of it is quite incredible.”

They also praised how smooth their induction process had been, something that has been improved in recent years.

Mr Jogee said: “We’re really lucky actually because lots of colleagues who were elected before have said they didn’t get that level of pastoral support and opportunity to learn and also take a minute to just understand where we are, what’s going on and how to get things done, how to find your way around.”

Ms Minns added: “I think probably far smoother than most people’s experiences of a first day in a new job.”