Mr Gordon-Brown at No 10!
A group of lucky Politics students in Poetry (Year 12) have just returned from a fascinating day trip to London as part of the post-AS exam enrichment programme. Mr Ridout has fine tuned this annual visit to take our students on a whirlwind tour through the corridors of power in the UK.
The photo opportunity at Number 10 Downing Street, having cleared the flood-defence-like security arrangements, was a super way to set the tone for the rest of the visit. Mr Gordon-Brown, who has been the butt of many jokes over the years, was particularly pleased to gather some evidence of his time at Number 10!
Arriving at No 1 Parliament Street, they were met by Daniel O’Byrne OS, the lead researcher for Nigel Evans, MP for the Ribble Valley. Daniel led them to the central lobby of the House of Commons just in time to see the Speaker being led in for the start of Prime Minister’s Questions. And what a day to witness PMQ’s. The leader of the opposition took every opportunity to lambast the PM for refusing to order an inquiry into the actions of Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Culture and Media over allegations that he pulled strings for Rupert Murdoch over his planned acquisition of BSkyB.
"It's no longer about the culture secretary's judgment, it's about the prime minister's judgment, which is so badly flawed even his deputy won't support him," was Miliband’s final quote, exposing the split in the coalition over the issue.
The sunny London weather made lunch on the House of Commons terrace a real pleasure, with the students enjoying the company of Nigel Evans MP and Edward Leigh MP and with other MPs stopping to say hello. From there they progressed to Westminster Great Hall to meet Lord Alton for a tour of the Crypt. Lord Alton spoke passionately about the history of the Crypt, the Hall and Parliament and of the brave people who had fought for religious freedom, and other liberties over the centuries, and to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude.
Leaving Westminster there was still much to be experienced, and after a brief visit to the Supreme Court and an interesting time exploring Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms, they finished with a fascinating tour of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office replete with intriguing stories of the two architects Wyatt and Scott who had such an influence over the beautiful building’s restoration. They were fortunate to be able to go into William Hague’s office, a room of grandeur, befitting its enormous historical significance.
Students who Mr Ridout will accompany on a similar trip next week have much to look forward to.