A group of Citizenship and History students had the fantastic opportunity to visit the Houses of Parliament, to learn more about the Government and how laws are passed in this country.
Our tour guide took us from the Education centre into the Houses of Parliament. Our tour began in the Lobby which sits between the House of Lords and the House of Commons. We went up into the gallery of the House of Lords and were able to listen in to a debate about the current Immigration Bill. This is a controversial Bill and the members of the House of Lords were trying to add amendments to the Bill, so the chamber was busy and we were able to listen to some of the debate.
We then returned to the Lobby in time to see the Speaker’s Procession as he arrived at the House of Commons to open proceedings for the day. As it was a Wednesday and Prime Minister’s Question Time was scheduled for the day, the House of Commons was also very busy and we were able to spot a few MPs including the former Prime Minister Theresa May and Jacob Rees-Mogg.
We left the lobby and went into St Stephen’s Hall where our guide pointed out the statue of Britain’s youngest Prime Minister, William Pitt, the Younger. We then went into Westminster Hall where the late Queen Elizabeth II lay in state before her funeral last year. We also saw the Speaker’s gold carriage which looked very similar to the carriage used by King Charles and Queen Camilla to travel back to Buckingham Palace after the Coronation the previous weekend.
Our tour ended back at the Education Centre where we took part in a workshop that explained the process of writing a new law. We were split into two parties and debated a potential new law to allow 16-year-olds the vote. The student team were very persuasive in their arguments and the bill was passed unanimously.
Overall, it was a fantastic trip and everyone learnt a lot from our day in Westminster.