Wednesday, 04 August 2021

Students put would be MPs on the spot

STUDENTS from three schools watched a Question Time style debate between local politicians

STUDENTS from three schools watched a Question Time–style debate between local politicians.

Sam Juthani (Labour), Sue Cooper (Liberal Democrat) and Mark Stevenson (Green), who are all running for the Henley parliamentary seat, took part alongside South Oxfordshire District Council candidate Ken Arlett, of Henley UKIP.

The debate was held at Shiplake College and chaired by Mariam Inayet Waseem, 19, from the British Youth Council, a charity that aims to engage young people in politics.

Questions were posed by the 100–strong audience, which was made up of 15– to 18–year–old pupils from the college, Queen Anne’s School in Caversham and the Piggott School in Wargrave.

There were 10 pre–prepared questions followed by live questions from the audience and subjects covered included immigration, the deficit and international aid.

A debate on the European Union and its benefits to the UK was one of the more heated discussions between the panel. Students asked questions about issues affecting them directly, such as university tuition fees and lowering the voting age.

The college will hold a mock election on the day of the general election with a ballot and polling stations.

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