Strode’s College students were given the opportunity to visit Parliament and experience a curatorial tour of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Students observed an array of MP’s such as Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn discussing issues such as security and pensions. By sitting in the House of Commons gallery the Politics students were given a real insight into the daily work of an MP in Parliament.
However, the most significant highlight was when the Chancellor of Exchequer, Philip Hammond, personally visited the students during their interactive mock elections presentation, where students were able to ask pertinent questions about the EU referendum result as well as ask about the subsequent issues concerning Brexit. One student challenged the Chancellor about triggering another referendum. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see how Parliament deals with the recent High Court judgment that has stated Parliament must vote on triggering article 50.
In addition, students witnessed the guards’ preparation for the state visit by Jan Santos Calderon the President of the Republic of Columbia. This was indeed an auspicious visit for the students and for Parliament as it was the first time a Columbian Head of State had addressed both Houses of Parliament.
On the way home students commented on how interesting it was to hear about how Parliament works and how different it is from watching it on television.