The John Wheatley Internship

About the Internship

As someone who grew up in the shadow of the Cranhill water tower but who now works in the shadow of Big Ben, I’m acutely aware of how fortunate I am to be the MP for Glasgow’s East End.

In many respects, my journey into politics was the exception to the rule. Too often, political internships are unpaid and mean that young people from poorer communities don’t get the opportunities they need to enter Parliament, influence change and learn new skills. Those opportunities can’t only be available to those with money in the bank, to keep them afloat during the internship.

As a Member of Parliament now, I don’t want to pull the ladder up behind me. That’s why I established the John Wheatley Internship in 2018 as a new internship in order to provide an opportunity every year for a talented individual to gain experience in a political environment.

All too often, unpaid internships mean that people from poorer communities are less likely to benefit from a political internship. That’s why I’ve ensured that the interns on my programme are fairly paid a proper Living Wage.

The John Wheatley Internship is named after one of my predecessors who served as the Labour MP for Glasgow Shettleston from 1922 until 1930. As well as being a Glasgow MP, Wheatley was appointed Health Minister by Ramsay MacDonald and pioneered the 1924 Housing (Financial Provisions) Act, which kick started a huge programme of council house building. He might have been from a different political party than me but John Wheatley remains one of my biggest political heroes for his belief in the fundamental benefits of warm, affordable, social housing.

If we’re truly serious about advancing social mobility and Parliament reflecting our communities, then we need to look to where we can effect change ourselves. The John Wheatley internship is my small contribution and I hope, just like Wheatley himself, it makes a real difference going forward.

About the current intern

Gillian, the current intern on the John Wheatley Internship Programme, maintains a blog on this site. She also tweets about her experience of the internship. Follow her at @JohnIntern to keep up with what she’s been up to.

Intern blog

Last day

Today is the last day of my John Wheatley Internship and I can’t quite believe it was only 12 weeks ago that I arrived nervous and half expecting that I would be spending the next few months making tea and

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Mental Health Awareness

This week I undertook training in Mental Health Awareness. This was an absolutely fantastic course run by Mind. In any public facing role it’s important to understand the issues which may be facing people you come into contact with. In

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London Calling!

This has been a very busy couple of weeks! So much so that I didn’t even manage a blog last week. On Fair Monday I headed back down to work in David’s Westminster office for a few days. When I

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Guest blog – a week’s work experience

When David offered me a week’s work experience, I was over the moon, to say the least! I currently study Politics and International Relations at university, so the work experience would not only be a fantastic opportunity, but a chance

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Wellhouse Door Knocking

Time flies!

It’s hard to believe I’m already a third of the way through my internship. And yet at the same time I’ve already had the chance to work on more than I expected to by the end of it. My internship

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Out and About

It’s become pretty obvious by now that no two weeks, or even days actually, are going to be the same during my internship. After week one in Westminster and week two mainly in the office, this week has been all

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Bird Poo & Baking

A major highlight of this week was seeing positive results start to come through for some of the cases I’d worked on last week! Obviously, many cases are extremely complicated and can take months of work on David’s part, but

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One week down!

As week one of my John Wheatley internship comes to an end it’s safe to say that this is no ordinary internship! Firstly, I’ll receive a salary; a fact that has enabled me to undertake this opportunity. As a lone

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