Parliament “rose” last Thursday for the Summer Recess which for MPs is an opportunity to escape from the Westminster bubble and immerse themselves in their constituencies. Our excellent MP, Jeremy Quin, has grabbed this opportunity with both hands. This week, Jeremy has been involved in a wide variety of constituency events, surgeries in locations from Broadbridge Heath and Billingshurst to Copthorne and Kilnwood Vale and “Meet your MP” pub events from Rudgwick to Ardingly.
Boris Johnson has engendered a great sense of purpose over the last week. At this point, most people, whatever their stance on the Referendum, want the issue resolved and for us to get on with the many other issues we need to address. The Prime Minister’s focus on these issues alongside resolving the EU debate is to be widely welcomed.
In re-forming the Government the Prime Minister has appointed Jeremy to serve in a more senior capacity in the Whips’ Office as “Comptroller of Her Majesty’s Household”.
Unusually for a Whip (who do not generally speak in the chamber except on matters of parliamentary procedure) Jeremy made his debut performance at the dispatch box (speaking as a Minister). This was replying to the debate on “Matters to be brought up before the Adjournment” - replying to MPs who in this debate can raise any local or national issue and require a response! The debate has been described as a “lucky dip” on the basis that the Minister responding does not know what MPs will raise and any subject under the sun can come up! However, as is often the case, these general debates often reveal common cause between MPs across the political spectrum and Thursday’s had a positive atmosphere. In responding Jeremy was able to mention issues that have strong resonance in the Horsham constituency – including school funding, concerns on UC raised with me by the Horsham Food Bank and Citizens Advice, both of which do so much good locally, and also the battle against human trafficking raised by our local charity “Streetlight.
As a “Whip”, Jeremy's main task is to help ensure Parliamentary business is properly conducted in the Chamber and in Legislative Committees (often working with the Speaker’s team and Opposition whips). He also act as an interface between Conservative MPs and the Government.
While the main function of the role is within the Whip's Office, holders of the post of “Comptroller” are members of the Royal Household and as such Jeremy will have the honour of accompanying the Queen and other members of the Royal Family to certain diplomatic and social events.