Students at East Sussex College Hastings recently enjoyed a visit from local MP Amber Rudd, who spoke to them about a wide range of political issues, writes Ben Knapton.
During an informal discussion, the MP for Hastings and Rye took questions from around 100 students on current affairs such as the impact of Brexit on young people, her new role as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and what it’s like to take part in a debate in the House of Commons.
Ms Rudd said: “It was a pleasure to meet with sixth-form students to discuss some of their concerns, both nationally and internationally. It is very important that we encourage political engagement amongst our young people and I was pleased that East Sussex College organised this event.”
The event was co-hosted by Our Future Our Choice, a youth movement campaigning for a People’s Vote on Brexit.
Phoebe Potter of Our Future Our Choice said: “Friday was a fantastic opportunity for Amber Rudd to engage with her young constituents about Brexit and the People’s Vote campaign. Her continued sympathy for the concerns of young people about Brexit is an excellent sign of things to come.”
Jordan Beeney, an A-level politics student, said: “I found the talk insightful in a number of ways. Amber was very good at clarifying the government’s position in regards to the amendments made to the bill, which answered a few of my questions.
“I also enjoyed the debating side of the talk. I found that there were lots of different opinions in the room which made for a good argument on the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of Brexit.”
The week before the MP’s visit, politics students at the college who were studying the UK’s electoral system held their own general election, in which the students had the chance to become inspirational leaders for the day and draw up their own party manifestos.
The Transform Party, who proposed changes in education and transport for young people, took a staggering 86 of the 115 votes.
Greg Gallagher, Transform Party leader, said: “The mock election gave me a unique opportunity to work on my presentation and communication skills in a competitive yet supportive environment.”