Frustrated Staffers Ditching Masks Risk Sacking

Frustrated staffers plan to ditch face coverings after July 19th  despite being “required” to wear them, after Guido revealed that MPs have only be “encouraged” to wear face coverings on the Parliamentary estate since June 21st. Guido also hears that some staffers haven’t bothered waiting until the 19th and have already started ditching face masks on the estate, only wearing them in PCH… 

This comes after GMB, TUS and Unite unions wrote a letter to Hoyle explaining that Parliamentary staff have been filled with “incredulity, anger and concern” over the mask hypocrisy that has left Parliament with a distinctly upstairs / downstairs vibe. Unions are pushing for everyone to have mandatory masks, although Guido gets the sense both MPs and staffers want the freedom to make their own minds up… 

mdi-timer 15 July 2021 @ 13:00 15 Jul 2021 @ 13:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Parliamentary Staff Told to Stay at Home from Tomorrow

Tier 3 is having repercussions earlier than expected for Parliamentary staff in Westminster who have been told to not come in to work tomorrow. Members can continue to sit, just without their staff…

“With the exception of staff who are essential to the work of the House, or in providing supporting services, all other staff are asked to not attend the Estate from tomorrow. This will also include Members’ staff.”

The Commission said in a statement that as with the rest of London, there has been “an increase in cases on the Estate and now believe this is the time to take extra measures to keep everyone safe.” Speaker Lindsay Hoyle who chairs the Commission which made the decision said in a message to staff:

“the safety of everyone on the Parliamentary Estate is our number one priority – and this is the only way we can keep this awful virus at bay, while also keeping our core business going,”

“We are all having to be flexible in these extraordinary times, and I know you will do everything you can to keep us functioning, albeit from a distance.”

Read the email in full below:

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mdi-timer 14 December 2020 @ 15:16 14 Dec 2020 @ 15:16 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tory Staffer Expected Tory Colleagues to be Sharing Nazi Comments and Belittling the Poor

As the country begins returning to normality from today, so too does the drama of Westminster. Yesterday afternoon, outrage erupted in the Conservative parliamentary staffers’ Whatsapp group when a recently-hired researcher for Rob Roberts MP, Matthew Sprake, was caught trying to leak from the group when he accidentally sent screenshots of the chat to the chat itself. Captioned “Annoyingly. There’s nothing controversial. Just lots of people working really hard”. He really stuck his foot in it when he sent an accidental follow-up message to his new Westminster colleagues saying “I expected some [nazi] comments and belittling the poor”. This’ll generate some awkward encounters in Strangers when Parliament returns...

Sprake was promptly booted out of the group for breaking leaking rules, later conveying an apology via a friend that he was sending to screenshots to “a friend as a joke… completely my bad and poor form. Will be speaking to my boss about it.” Guido reminds staffers to be more careful when leaking screenshots from their group in future…

mdi-timer 13 May 2020 @ 14:06 13 May 2020 @ 14:06 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Parliament Accidentally Wipes Active Casework

Parliamentary Digital Services (PDS) has today outdone itself by deactivating multiple active MPs’ staffers’ email accounts – and in the process deleting potentially years of correspondence and active constituents’ casework. PDS is often the bain of multiple staffers’ lives, and their move today has been true to form. Fibre-optic Fagins…

Following an election, there is an automatic grace period of a month, after which all former MPs and staffers’ emails are erased from the servers. This time around, however, PDS forgot to double-check whether any staffers – specifically those whose MP stepped down – have carried on with new MPs for their constituencies. Most absurdly, however, Guido has heard of a case where a staffer who received new email addresses following the election has even seen that one go down.

Guido understands there are a large number of staffers – predominantly Tories – who fit the bill; enjoying a less-than-productive day at work. This has led to multiple vulnerable constituents in need of help with housing or asylum having years of correspondence potentially permanently wiped.

Staffers are, as may be expected, up in arms, and desperately trying to find out whether the data is recoverable. Which it most likely won’t be if PDS used GDPR-compliant wiping methods…

UPDATE: A UK Parliament Spokesperson says they emphasised warnings to MPs and their staff before the election regarding the grace period, in line with GDPR and Data Protection legislation. They have been offering advice to any staffers affected, however notification was given multiple times and staff working for new members had to sort out renewed sponsorship. Sounds like the start of a protracted blame game…

mdi-timer 21 January 2020 @ 16:44 21 Jan 2020 @ 16:44 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments