Another side of Politics revealed at A-level conference

Leading politicians of every hue took to the stage at a conference for A-level Politics students – and showed each other nothing but respect.

QE’s Year 12 A-level Politics student who had travelled to the event in Westminster Central Hall heard discussion of a wide variety of issues.

Year 12 pupil Rehaan Bapoo, Chairman of QE’s Politics Society, said: “In a world of increasingly hostile politics, it was refreshing to see that in the UK politicians can still be civil with each other, despite their differing beliefs.”

""The day featured 15-minute speeches from various senior political figures, such as House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sir Alan Duncan, Leading Labour backbencher Chuka Umunna, Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg and Douglas Carswell, the sole UKIP MP.

""One constant theme was the speakers urging that young people should engage with politics and vote regularly once they come of age. Chuka Umunna explained that he had attended the same conference 20 years before and it had stimulated his interest in Politics by giving him an opportunity to get his questions answered. He said he hoped this year’s event would do the same for the sixth-formers there.

Rehaan reported that the boys were engrossed with the speeches, which ranged in topic from the future of the Conservative Party and the position of Britain in a post-Brexit world to diversity in Politics.

""The opportunity given for members of the audience to ask the speakers questions after they had concluded their speeches resulted in “many riveting debates stoked by intriguing questions”. And Rehaan contributed with a question of his own to Sir Alan Duncan: “Were [Leader of the French Front National, Marine] Le Pen to be elected and remove France from the EU, would this be the beginning of an increasingly isolationist Europe?”

QE’s Head of Politics, Liam Hargadon, said “Our Politics students have attended this conference every year and are invariably surprised and challenged by the speakers. It’s a unique opportunity to speak directly to national leaders.”