New intake among PPS appointments
By Tony Grew - 10th September 2010
Several new Tory MPs have got their foot on the first ring of government after being appointed parliamentary private secretaries.
Angie Bray (Ealing Central and Acton) will work for cabinet office minister Francis Maude; Nigel Adams (Selby and Ainsty) is PPS to Lord Strathclyde, leader of the Lords; Glyn Davies (Montgomeryshire) will work for Welsh secretary Cheryl Gillan and Jessica Lee (Erewash) is PPS to attorney general Dominic Grieve.
A PPS is unpaid but counted as part of the government's 'payroll' vote and will be expected to vote with the government at all times or resign their post.
To be appointed as a PPS is seen as a sign an MP is rated by the party. They act as as the 'eyes and ears' of the minister in the House of Commons.
One eye-cathing appointment is Daniel Kawczynski.
The outspoken MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, first elected in 2005, is a strong proponent of first past the post.
However, he backed the government in Monday's vote on the AV referendum bill's second reading.
He will work for James Paice and Richard Benyon, ministers at Defra.
The other appointments announced by Downing St today are:
Oliver Letwin, minister of state, cabinet office - David Burrowes
David Willetts, minister of state, universities and science - Nicky Morgan
David Lidington, minister for Europe - Adam Holloway
Nick Herbert, minister of state, home office and ministry of justice - Mary Macleod
Mark Hoban, financial secretary to the Treasury - Alok Sharma
A House of Commons library briefing paper has listed the general functions of a PPS:
"They sit behind the dispatch box, running messages between the officials' box and their ministers.
"They also serve as important channels of communication between ministers and backbenchers, keeping a weather eye on moods within the parliamentary party and reporting likely reaction to proposed measures.
"They may also serve as an important means of communication with the party and bodies outside the House, providing a political – as opposed to an official departmental – line of access to ministers.
"They help ministers with a variety of tasks, including farming out friendly parliamentary questions.
"They may also be included at the discretion of the secretary of state in the regular meetings of the ministerial team (ministers, senior officials, special advisers) and may be used by the minister as an additional sounding board for proposals."