Following a whistle stop tour of Downing Street and Whitehall, 27 A level Politics Student attended The Politics Student Conference on 30 November at Central Hall. The purpose of the event, which was attended by students from across the UK, was to engage the students in a wide range of current political issues affecting the UK.
Speakers at the Conference included John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, who spoke about his role and changes he has made to the procedures of the House; Natalie Bennett, the leader of the Green Party, who spoke about the urgency to address climate change and sustainability; Douglas Carswell, UKIP MP, who spoke about our flawed democracy; Tristan Hunt, Labour MP who spoke about ‘socialism’ and Angus Robertson MP representing the SNP, who spoke about Scottish independence and the need for an English Parliament. Tim Farron MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats also spoke on the subject of liberalism and what is distinctive about the Lib Dems.
Undaunted by the size of the Conference, the Coulsdon students were very active in the questions and answers section: Daniel Hooper asked a question about the Conservative parties plans to cut welfare benefits and Kirstie Lynch asked a question about the UK’s involvement with the war in Syria.
Kirstie says how much she enjoyed listening to the political debate, “It gave me a real insight into the world of politics and democracy. The fact that the conference took place just metres away from the House of Commons where MPs were debating on whether to launch air-strikes against ISIL in Syria, just added to the excitement.”