Harlesden secondary pupils hold meeting in the House of Commons
PUBLISHED: 14:32 20 June 2016 | UPDATED: 15:05 20 June 2016
Pupils from a secondary school in Harlesden have become the first in the borough to hold a meeting in the House of Commons.
The Newman Catholic College Student Council, who are generally based at their school in Harlesden Road, were invited by Dawn Butler, MP for Brent Central.
In addition to their normal meeting where they spoke of their environment and anti-bullying campaigns, the 35 students were able to ask Ms Butler questions, such as her vision for the borough, what she could do for young people and what she had achieved for Brent while in office.
They also asked her whether it was hard to be a female MP to which she responded: “It has been hard, sexist and racist,” pupils said.
Swastik Dilip, from year 10, said “It was like once in a lifetime opportunity. I felt lost in history and it was an honour to meet Dawn Butler.
Fellow student council member Antonia Caujero Regueira, said: “It was a great honour to exchange enthusiastic ideas in developing our council.”
Mukutur Danbatta added: “It was an amazing experience being able to ask a real politician questions.”
Marlon King, a teacher who accompanied the pupils said: “It was a phenomenal experience and privledge to be part of the first school inside of the House of Commons It was a huge success and Dawn Butler was very open and honest and the students experienced one if not the best student council meetings ever.”
Ms Butler said: “It was a pleasure to chair this special meeting of the Student Council and to see first-hand what a talented and articulate group of young people there are at Newman Catholic College. We had a really passionate and well-informed debate about the EU referendum; I think politicians in Westminster could learn a great deal from the Newman Catholic College Student Council. The students also spoke passionately about our environment and recycling as well as their anti-bullying campaign.”
The outspoken MP has also pledged to open up Parliament to young people across her constituency. She added:
“A key part of my work as the MP for Brent Central is to open up parliament to local young people and to actively engage them in the democratic process. I will be writing to all the other student councils in Brent Central extending a similar invite to them to hold their meetings in Parliament.”
Ms Butler launched her parliamentary internship programme this month which gives young people from Brent the chance to gain work experience in the House of Commons.
To apply for a placement send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org outlining why you’d like the opportunity along with a CV.
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