Pupils pop in on Penny at Parliament

Children s from the UP for It club visiting the Houses of Parliament
Children s from the UP for It club visiting the Houses of Parliament
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POTENTIAL future politicians had a treat when they had a tour around Parliament in a bid to learn more about the everyday life of an MP.

A group of 38 young people from the Up for It Club visited Westminster in London and had the chance to question Portsmouth North MP Penny Mourdaunt on her work.

The club is run by the University of Portsmouth and welcomes members aged between 11 and 16 who take part in various activities.

The trip to London, which was called ‘Can you be the next Prime Minister?’ saw the children visit the House of Commons and the House of Lords where they were given a tour of Parliament.

They then sat down with Ms Mordaunt and took part in a question and answer session.

They asked questions on issues such as animal cruelty, and the war in Afghanistan.

They also did a workshop-style debate discussing issues such as the death penalty and whether or not the voting age should be lowered from 18 to 16 to allow younger people to vote.

Joe Walters, education liaison and outreach officer for the university, said: ‘They were all interested in politics. Some of them say it’s where they would like to be career-wise.

‘They now understand about the day-to-day life of an MP and the things that an MP would do.

‘It’s there to help them make decisions and just give them all the information.’

One group went to the House of Commons and watched a live debate where Education Secretary Michael Gove answered questions.

And another went to the House of Lords to watch a talk about alcoholism and the elderly.

‘The whole point of the club is to raise aspirations,’ added Joe.

‘This shows them how you can get into politics as a career

‘It’s something that they wouldn’t normally study in school. It’s given them real life experience.

‘They really loved it. It was the biggest group we have ever had out on a workshop. They all got involved and asked questions on different issues. They really enjoyed it.’

Penny Mordaunt added: ‘I thought the whole thing was brilliant. It was really really good.’

To find out more about the Up for It Club visit port.ac.uk/elot.