Parliament

Parliament has been dissolved until after the general election and I am no longer an MP.

Paula attends Parliament when it is in session, typically between Monday and Wednesday, and votes on a range of legislative matters as well as representing the interests of her constituents by making spoken contributions in the chamber of the House of Commons and in Westminster Hall.

Paula also sits as a member of the cross-party Home Affairs Select Committee which covers a range of domestic policy areas, including policing, the fire and rescue service, immigration, and asylum. A large portion of time spent in Parliament is dedicated to meetings with third sector and advocacy groups on a range of important causes that impact many of Paula's constituents. 

Westminster Trips

Free guided tours of Parliament are available to constituents.

The walking tour of the Palace of Westminster includes:

  • Westminster Hall, the ancient hall at the heart of the Palace where Parliament first sat and where many historic events have taken place. 
  • The House of Commons, including the Speaker's Chair and the famous green benches and the 'lobbies' where MPs actually vote.
  • The House of Lords, including the Royal Throne
  • The Queen's Robing Room, Royal Gallery and many other fascinating parts of the Palace of Westminster

Please note that tours are very popular and places are limited so generally have to be booked in advance. 

Please contact my office about a visit to Westminster at paula.barker.mp@parliament.uk

Request to sign Early Day Motions (EDMs)

I regularly get requests from my constituents asking for me to sign Early Day Motions (EDMs), however I have taken the decision that I will no longer be signing EDMs.

There are a number of reasons why I have chosen to not sign EDMs.

The main one, is that they have no effect and there are numerous other ways which are effective in which I can raise an issue or lobby the Government.

Signing EDMs requires virtually no effort and has become a displacement activity for doing something useful like writing personally to the Minister, raising the issue in questions or debates in Parliament, applying for a debate, tabling amendments to Bills etc – all of which require much more time and effort. The taxpayer also picks up a substantial bill for the cost of processing the hundreds of EDMs tabled each month.

That is why I have taken the decision to no longer sign EDMs on principle. However, that does not mean the issues raised are not important and instead I will often write personally to Ministers raising the issues and asking them to respond, as well as raising issues in other useful and effective ways.