In recent years, numerous studies have shown that the Westminster Parliament is unrepresentative, that the creation of a host of unpaid internship positions are making politics only accessible to the wealthy or those based in London.

The Speaker’s Parliamentary Placements scheme which has been launched this week is a cross-party project created by Hazel Blears, Labour MP for Salford and Eccles, Eric Ollerenshaw, Conservative MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood and Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat MP for East Dunbartonshire, and it aims to address these issues by offering 12 people the opportunity and support to complete a paid internship in the UK Parliament.

The scheme hopes to attract people from disadvantaged and diverse backgrounds, in a bid to make Parliament more inclusive and open.

IAN MURRAY MP who represents Edinburgh South said:

“I am delighted to see the launch of the Speaker’s Parliamentary Placements scheme. It is a fantastic programme that will open up internships in Parliament to people from ordinary backgrounds, and I hope that people across South Edinburgh who are passionate about politics will consider applying.”

Hazel Blears, Labour MP for Salford and Eccles, said:

“I am absolutely delighted that our scheme has now been launched and is open for applicants. Over the past few months the role of internships has been under intense scrutiny, and those of us who work in politics know too well that the system of unpaid internships freezes people out of political life.

“Our scheme will make Parliament more open and accessible. It will give people from working class backgrounds the opportunities that currently just aren’t open to them, and take an important step towards making our politics more representative of ordinary people. “

Applications can be made on the Social Mobility Foundation’s website: www.socialmobility.org.uk