Home» Our People

Our People

Dom Livens
Digital Account Manager
Joined the House of Commons in 2009

The House is an amazing place to work. There are always opportunities to learn new skills and I’ve had lots of support to help me develop.

For example, I originally joined as a Payroll Assistant, but I’ve also worked in the Office of the Chief Executive and now I work in the Web and Intranet team. I started out here as a Web Assistant, taking queries from the public and staff relating to the website and intranet pages, helping web editors and working on new projects. I recently became a Digital Account Manager. As well as maintaining the parliamentary website and intranet pages, we also run the social channels including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. 

I really enjoy my work and being so close to where important decisions are made. My highlight so far? Being mentioned in Hansard for all my hard work for the UK Youth Parliament. 

Ugbana Oyet
Lead Electrical Engineer
Joined the House of Commons in 2011

In my role here I make sure standards are in place for technical construction and maintenance works to ensure nothing stops working that could affect the business of parliament. Working here has given me great opportunities to work with other experts. I feel I’m in an organisation that is focused on excellence.  It’s not elitist but you need to be at your best, as you will be working with the best people.  I work on some very high profile projects, including being on the steering group for the restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster amongst others.

When I applied to the House of Commons I was working for a UK private practice in the Middle East, but I wanted to return to the UK and with four children, I wanted to improve my work/life balance. 

It’s great to have the flexibility to start early so I can leave early one day a week to spend time with my children before bedtime. There are also lots of activities you can get involved with such as ParliREACH (one of the workplace equality networks) events, and Speaker’s lectures. I attend the Parliament Choir practice during lunch times and sing at the weekly mass. It’s like an oasis in the middle of my busy schedule. I haven’t worked anywhere else that enables you to do so many things during and outside the working day. 

 

Debbie McGuire
HR and Workforce Information Manager
Joined the House of Commons in 1987

I have worked at the House of Commons for many years and I’ve had a variety of roles in both Finance and HR.

If you come in at a junior level like I did, you’re sure to find something that suits your interests. There’s a huge variety of roles and the support to help you fully achieve your potential.

I currently work three days a week, managing the team that inputs data onto our HR database. This defines people’s salaries so it’s important to get it right! I also provide statistical data for senior managers.

I like the diversity of the people in the House and the variety of roles. It’s like a village with people ranging from cleaners, chefs, nurses, accountants, HR advisors and electricians to the Clerk of the House.

I enjoy working here. I’ve seen Prime Minister’s Questions in the Chamber, witnessed the State Opening of Parliament and was fortunate to see Nelson Mandela when he came to the House to speak.

Farrah Bhatti
Clerk
Joined the House of Commons in 2009

In my previous role at the Royal Society of Chemistry I had submitted written evidence to various Select Committees. I joined the House because I thought it would be interesting to see it from the other side and still use my specialist knowledge.

I started as a Committee Specialist on the Energy and Climate Change Committee, and then went to the Science and Technology Committee, where I was promoted to become a Senior Specialist.

In August 2012, I became a Second Clerk, deputising for the Clerk on the Transport Committee. This involved managing a team and giving MPs on the Committee procedural advice. I have been involved in scrutinising a number of interesting issues, including the Government’s aviation strategy and the potential expansion of Heathrow. In December 2013, I became the Clerk to the Energy and Climate Change Committee, managing a team of five.

Working on Committees is intellectually stimulating and I have had the opportunity to experience a variety of roles. I have been fortunate to travel with the Committees across the UK, to California (to look at low-carbon technologies) and to Uganda and Tanzania (looking at scientific capability building). It’s given me valuable experience to build a career in my area of expertise.

Sarah Chapman
Senior Doorkeeper

After two years as an Attendant, I was ready to advance my career, and a few years ago I was promoted to Senior Doorkeeper.  There are 36 Senior Doorkeepers in total, of which six are women. Largely a reactive role, our responsibility is, first and foremost, to maintain the security of the Chamber when Members are debating issues. 

We also control access to the division lobbies, sometimes identifying someone in a large crowd by just a part of their face and an ear!  Luckily, when a person starts here, they have a mentor to shadow, so aren’t meant to recognise 650 different MPs on day one!

Before joining the House of Commons, I had various roles, but I have now found a job that I love.  No two days are the same.  It can seem like a huge place, but the more people you know, and having some very good friends here, the smaller it becomes.  It is like a big family.  For the first time in years, I love coming in to work. 

I have respect for the role and I like continuing the traditional and historical elements of what we do. It is a modern team in an old environment. We have ensured accessibility and have 6 women Senior Doorkeepers. We employ part time Senior Doorkeepers too. 

I would definitely recommend this role to those considering it.  As well as the variety, and working with great people, I have shaken hands with Barack Obama, seen the Pope, and escorted the Dalai Lama to Westminster Hall.

Dave Bush
Senior Chef de Partie

I am currently a Senior Chef de Partie in the main kitchen, which involves running whole sections of the kitchen, ordering goods and managing junior members of staff.

I joined the House in March 2001 as a Demi Chef de Partie. Previously I was working in a local hotel in Essex serving fine dining food and wanted a change. I was a Demi Chef de Partie here for 2 years and had the opportunity to work in all of the kitchens across the Parliamentary Estate. I was then promoted to Chef de Partie and then on to Senior Chef de Partie.

There is incentive to achieve here, and I have been awarded Employee of the Month on several occasions. I have been supported through different training courses including a ‘milestones to management’ course, which I utilise here and is transferable if I ever leave.

At the House of Commons I have been encouraged to enter external competitions. I have recently won at the Academy of Culinary Arts, and I won London Chef of the Year. I am also a member of the House of Commons competition team who won two gold medals, one silver and best in show at the Parade de Chefs.

Another element that I enjoy in my role is mentoring staff, and I was proud to support one of my junior Chefs, who won Young Chef of the Year, and another of my team won the Highest Graduate Achiever award.