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Public Policy|Southampton

Tips on how to engage with Parliament

Tips for engaging with Parliament
Tips for engaging with Parliament

I-                  Background

- Parliament and Government are not the same thing: Parliament consists of the Commons, the Lords, and the Monarch and scrutinises Government. Government consists of only some MPs and Lords and is accountable to Parliament

- Lords Committees are typically staffed by a Clerk who is responsible for managing Committee work, a policy analyst, and a Committee assistant. But they can also include specialists who work on individual projects and support staff from other bodies such as POST UK

- The parliamentary bodies that use research are the Lords and Commons Select Committees, the Lords and the Commons Libraries, and POST, a bicameral body that synthesises peer-reviews briefings. Research is also used by Public Bill Committees, All Party Parliamentary Groups, and MPs and Lords researchers


II-               Getting involved

- Look out for relevant Select Committee inquiries and submit written evidence – this may lead to an invite to give oral evidence

- Get in touch, make the case for why you should submit oral evidence, and submit written evidence which is just as useful

- If you are not sure whether you have something relevant to say on a Select Committee inquiry, just contact the staff of the committee for a chat – contact details will be on the committee webpage

- Committees sometimes appoint a specialist adviser when expertise is needed to inform oral evidence sessions or shape a report. Advisers are usually academics/expert practitioners

- Follow Committees on Twitter, or sign up for email alerts via

- Offer to host a visit for a Select Committee, or give a private briefing

- Suggest a subject for a Select Committee inquiry to the Clerks/staff or to Members of that Committee

- Know the political position of any MPs or Peers you approach

- Be prepared for short timescales


III-            Communicating research

- Present your research in a way that is easily understandable by lay people

- Market yourself/outline your expertise

- Critically review other people’s research (do not make it personal)

- Present your work in a friendly format by using summaries and numbered paragraphs

- Make sure you answer the question posed by the examined parliamentary inquiry

- Feel free to make policy recommendations


IV-             Advice on submitting written evidence

- Be concise and relevant


- Presentation and structure


- Make policy recommendations


- Content

– Hyperlinks useful


- Online submissions


V-                Advice on giving oral evidence

- Prior to the hearing


- On the day of the hearing


- After the hearing

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