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These pages explain some of the detail of the workings of the House of Commons, and how we can help arrange a visit to Parliament.

Since his election in 2001, Paul has actively encouraged local schools, in particular, to come down to Westminster to see Parliament for themselves.

After becoming our MP in Newcastle, Paul saw how schools close to London were already regular visitors and negotiated trips at minimal cost with Virgin Trains to make sure children from Newcastle also got this opportunity. Many of our 38 schools, as well as Newcastle College, have since taken advantage of this.

As well as raising issues in the House itself, asking Parliamentary Questions and writing on behalf of constituents, much of Paul’s parliamentary work goes on ‘behind the scenes’, in particular through his Select Committee and various issue groups.

We hope these pages give a flavour of parliamentary procedures and activities, which are not always in direct public view. A great deal more goes on, indeed, than the weekly Prime Minister’s Question Time, which dominates TV coverage, and daily votes in the House of Commons.