As Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond, John spends a lot of time in Westminster supporting the Treasury. As a PPS, John provides practical assistance to the Chancellor in the House of Commons Chamber, and helps prepare for departmental question time.
There is no such thing as a typical day in Westminster: John splits his time between debates in the Chamber, doing correspondence in his office, meeting groups and individuals, lobbying Ministers and attending various events in Parliament. He is also actively involved in a number of All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs), which work on a non-partisan basis to promote a particular cause. He is Secretary to the APPG on the British Council, Treasurer to the APPG on the Life Sciences and Vice-Chair of the APPG on parents and families, among others.
Previously, he was a member of the Defence Select Committee (2010-2012) and the Work and Pensions Select Committee (2015-2016), where he scrutinised Government policy on a cross party basis and made policy recommendations. He retains a strong interest in mental health provision for veterans and social justice issues as a result of this work.
MPs are required to be in Parliament from Monday to Thursday when the House is sitting, and they must be near by whenever they are expected to vote on Parliamentary business. Depending on the day's business, and whether a Minister gives a statement or not, Parliament can often sit late into the night.
As an MP, John is often asked to help constituents with matters relating to individual Government departments (such as the Department for Work and Pensions or the Ministry of Defence). Depending on the complexity of the case, he may write to Ministers, table Parliamentary Questions, raise the issue in the Chamber or even call a 30 minute adjournment debate.
Some of the issues John has raised on behalf of constituents include:
- Advertising Standards Agency regulation
- Transitional pension arrangements for women affected by changes to the State Pension Age (the WASPI campaign)
- The Mobile Infrastructure Project and the impact of no mobile reception in remote areas of the constituency