Chorley children quiz speaker in House of Commons

Credit: ©UK Parliament/Maria Unger

More than 350 school children from Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s Chorley constituency travelled to London to discover more about his other role – as Speaker of the House of Commons.

The pupils, aged between five and 11, also learned about laws, debating, voting and Parliament’s history - before taking a tour of one of the world’s most famous buildings.

Sir Lindsay initiated the ‘Speaker Day’ to give young people from Chorley a chance to visit Parliament – something that is often difficult for students who live in constituencies a long way away from the capital.

‘Living more than 200 miles away from London should not be a barrier to young people visiting Parliament – and finding out how it all works,’ he said.

‘In my opinion, it is never too early to become interested in politics or to get involved in democracy, so it was interesting hearing from Chorley youngsters about what matters to them.

‘It is always possible that this visit is the one that inspires a student to want to become a future Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, or even Speaker.’

During eight question and answer sessions with pupils from 16 schools, Mr Speaker was asked to name his favourite Speaker - Baroness Boothroyd; how he could improve his job – move Parliament to Chorley, and which was his favourite pet – Maggie the Tortoise.

Andrew Peters, from Coppull St John’s Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School, in Chorley, said the visit made Parliament ‘more relevant’ to his class of 16 Year 6 pupils.

‘Learning is always more effective when you can see it in the flesh, and our students have had the chance to see democracy in action,’ he said.

‘I am hoping this trip will inspire them to become more involved in the school council and pay attention to local issues. After all, they are the law makers of the future.’

Many of the children had to leave home at dawn to make the 220-mile trip by train or via the M6 motorway to Westminster.

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