MPs’ staff, the unsung heroes

Think tank: The Constitution Unit

Author(s): Rebecca McKee

October 3, 2023

This report from UK think tank the Constitution Unit provides new insights into who works for MPs.

A good deal is known about the 650 MPs who sit in the House of Commons, and they are frequently the focus of research.

Far less is known about the over 3,500 people who work for them across their Westminster and constituency offices. Yet these people play a key role in our political system: serving as gatekeepers for MPs; providing them policy advice, research, and legislative support; engaging with constituents; and providing essential administrative assistance.

This new Unit report by Dr Rebecca McKee combines original analysis of existing available data with entirely new evidence from an original survey of MPs’ staff, alongside an exploration of the history of MPs’ staffing support and alternative models of staffing arrangements in other legislatures.

This research provides new insights into who works for MPs, their roles and day-to-day activities, as well as their motivations, aspirations and experience in and of their jobs. It offers various reflections on areas for improvement in Westminster’s staffing arrangements.