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I want to appoint a new Constituency Assistant to join my team in Bristol. The following advertisement will appear on the w4mp website in the new year, but I wanted to post it here promptly before the end of 2016. 

Closing Date: Sunday 15 January 2017  

Job Title: Constituency Assistant
Working For: Thangam Debbonaire MP (Bristol West)
Location: Bristol
Salary: £18,000 - £25,000

Job details

Thangam Debbonaire wants to recruit a full-time Constituency Assistant to join her very busy constituency team in central Bristol and help them provide an excellent service to Bristol West constituents.

The Constituency Assistant will usually be the first port of call for enquiries from Bristol West’s schools, voluntary organisations, campaign groups, businesses, universities and others. The successful candidate will have some experience of diary management; sound judgement; good administration, research and website skills; an excellent standard of customer service; a willingness to learn and work as a team; and a good sense of humour. Excellent written English and a professional telephone manner are also important. This position will involve attending occasional constituency surgeries on Saturdays – the current post-holder works on one Saturday morning every month, with time off in lieu.

Key responsibilities

  • Manage the MP’s constituency diary.
  • Attend surgeries and other meetings as appropriate.
  • Draft responses to constituents, particularly as a result of meetings.
  • Gather relevant information to assist with resolving casework for Bristol West organisations.
  • Help to brief the MP on the political implications of constituency matters so that she can represent constituents directly in Parliament.
  • Use online database systems to log all cases; ensure all identified actions are taken; and analyse patterns of enquiries from constituents.
  • Assist with arrangements for events.
  • Retain records and information confidentially, and in line with the Data Protection Act.

Upon appointment you will be required to comply with the Baseline Personnel Security Standard, undertaken by the Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO). See Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO) page for further info. MPs generally pay staff in accordance with IPSA guidelines.

Closing Date: Sunday 15 January 2017

Interview/Start Dates

Interviews are likely to take place on either Friday 20 January or Wednesday 25 January in Bristol. The successful candidate will be encouraged to join the team as soon as possible after this date.

Application Details

Please send a CV and covering letter to Callum Collins at

Because of the high number of applications expected, we regret that only those shortlisted will be contacted. Therefore if you have not heard from us by 18 January 2016 your application has not been successful. 

Looking for a new Constituency Assistant

I want to appoint a new Constituency Assistant to join my team in Bristol. The following advertisement will appear on the w4mp website in the new year, but I wanted...

There’s a rumour going around Westminster that the Government is planning to make Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) compulsory in the New Year…



Of course, there are rumours going around Westminster all the time, and very few of them actually amount to anything. But I am particularly excited about this one, as I have been campaigning for compulsory SRE for years.

This possible announcement comes not only as a consequence of lobbying from myself and my Labour colleagues, but also from pressure from children’s charities, the police, and from domestic violence organisations. Two Select Committees and MPs from across the house recently called for compulsory SRE. More and more, there’s a consensus that a thorough education about consent, relationships, sexual violence and other issues like pornography and sexting could vastly improve the world we live in.

The reality is that there is a growing trend of sexual harassment in schools: a terrifying 59% of girls say they have been sexually harassed in school or college. I know that teachers want to have conversations about sex and relationships with their pupils, but many do not receive the training they need, or have to face the frustration of parents opting their children out. Young people deserve to know about the world they live in – what their rights are, what the law is, and how they should treat each other. On topics like consent, young people are often left to guess how they should behave – sometimes with tragic and disastrous consequences. 

It is not enough just to teach young people the biological basics of reproduction. ‘How not to get pregnant and catch STIs’, although important, is such a small part of what young people need to know about sex. Young people need to know that they can leave an abusive relationship, or that they can seek help if they are being abused, or what the consequences of harassing their classmates are.

And this won’t just help reduce sexual harassment in schools. I strongly believe that early education about sex and relationships will have a wider impact on domestic violence. For example, it is widely believed that men are more likely to under-report being the victims of domestic violence and abuse. Conversations at a young age and in a safe environment could break down the stigma faced by men and raise a generation of men who feel able to seek help. Similarly, potential perpetrators of domestic violence will have had an insight into the impact of their actions before they ever come to hurt their partner. It may well be that SRE gives them the capacity to reflect so that they never offend.

This isn’t just speculation: for 26 years before I was elected I worked in domestic violence responses and prevention, and I can say with confidence that every domestic abuser I worked with would have benefitted from better SRE. When I worked with young people in schools, they always appreciated more information and more chances to discuss what a safe relationship looks like. Every young person should have this – which is why I want no opt outs, and every school to have to provide high quality SRE.

So I say to Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education, please, please go ahead with this decision. It is the right thing to do – and teachers, charities, parents, and the police are saying so.


It's time to make Sex and Relationships Education compulsory

There’s a rumour going around Westminster that the Government is planning to make Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) compulsory in the New Year…   Of course, there are rumours going around...

Last week I was pleased to show my support for women with ovarian cancer by attending the launch of Target Ovarian Cancer’s Pathfinder 2016 study in Parliament.

Ovarian cancer is the deadliest of all the gynaecological cancers. Every year 7,300 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK, and 4,100 die from the disease. In fact 15 per cent of women die within two months of being diagnosed, and only a third survive 10 years after their diagnosis.

Women with ovarian cancer are left stranded without vital support at every turn, from diagnostic tests to access to nurses, according to the Pathfinder study.

Pathfinder 2016 found that:

  • just one in five UK women (20 per cent) could name bloating as a major symptom of ovarian cancer – an alarmingly low rate of awareness;
  • almost half of women (41 per cent) visited their GP three times or more before being referred for ovarian cancer tests, risking a delayed diagnosis; and
  • less than half of cancer nurses (46 per cent) think that their cancer unit has enough nurses to care for all the women being treated there.

With over 100 other MPs and healthcare professionals I joined Target Ovarian Cancer, UK’s leading ovarian cancer charity, to call on the government and health bodies to improve services. I want to ensure that all women with ovarian cancer get the care, support and new treatments that are needed, so that women’s lives are transformed, now and in future.

Pathfinder 2016 is the most-comprehensive study of its kind into the lives of people living and working with ovarian cancer in the UK. It surveyed women in the general population, women with ovarian cancer, GPs, nurses, friends and family to provide a comprehensive assessment of how lives can be saved and improvements made. To find out more, visit

Symptoms of ovarian cancer

Symptoms of ovarian cancer are frequent (they usually happen more than 12 times a month) and persistent, and include:

  • increased abdominal size/persistent bloating;
  • difficulty eating/feeling full;
  • pelvic or abdominal pain; and
  • needing to urinate more urgently or more often.

Other symptoms can include unexpected weight loss, change in bowel habits, and extreme fatigue.

If you regularly experience any of these symptoms, which are not normal for you, it is important that you see your GP. It is unlikely that your symptoms are caused by a serious problem, but it is important to be checked out.

Women with ovarian cancer need better support

Last week I was pleased to show my support for women with ovarian cancer by attending the launch of Target Ovarian Cancer’s Pathfinder 2016 study in Parliament. Ovarian cancer is...

Thangam Debbonaire is the MP for Bristol West constituency. 

If you would like to contact Thangam to arrange a meeting or discuss a problem, please email . 

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