Forget the House of Commons, one MP faced a much tougher crowd when he headed back to school for a question and answer session.
Tim Loughton, MP for Worthing and Shoreham, was grilled by Year 8 students at Worthing High School’s Learning Resource Centre on Friday (March 3).
In true Question Time style, the students’ questions were pulled out of a hat, giving Mr Loughton no opportunity to plan his answers – or even know what the subject matter would be.
There were certainly some tough ones. He was asked for his opinions on same sex marriage, MPs’ expenses and, of course, Brexit, with students wanting to know whether their MP thought leaving the European Union was “a good thing”.
Mr Loughton had campaigned for Brexit during the referendum, so his answer was a resounding “yes”, and he spent time outlining his reasons to the students.
One question asked what it was like to be an MP. If Mr Loughton had hoped to find a future kindred political spirit in the room, he was out of luck!
He said: “No one actually owned up to harbouring any ambition actually to follow in my career footsteps!”
He added: ““We also had a good discussion about lowering the voting age and getting more young people involved in politics and it was good to see a group of young people so obviously and passionately engaged with topical issues both locally and nationally which will affect their future education, careers and family life.”
The event was organised as part of students’ citizenship programme, designed to give them an enhanced understanding of the political system.
Headteacher Pan Panayiotou said “Great to see so many of our Year 8 students being engaged with our local MP. The questions they asked were very intelligent and demanding and showed that they are really passionate about government policies that affect them in the future”.
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