Pictured: Skype session with Rhiannon Harradine putting her questions to Speaker John Bercow.
House of Commons Speaker the Rt Hon John Bercow MP took questions from Uxbridge College students on everything from Brexit to meeting Barack Obama, in a live interactive Skype Q&A.
The debate, which linked the Education Centre in Parliament with Uxbridge College’s Learning Resource Centre through the internet video communication software Skype, gave students a chance to speak directly with Mr Bercow and find out more about his role and opinions.
Many of their questions related to the Speaker’s role, which included discussions on the famous words ‘Order! Order!’, uttered when debates get out of hand or when politicians coming in and out of the House make too much noise. Mr Bercow said Brexit would make no difference to his work, and that he would simply continue to do his best to see that everyone’s views were accommodated, as he always had. Each of the students, who were studying on a range of academic and vocational courses, addressed Mr Bercow as ‘Mr Speaker’, as Parliamentarians are expected to do, before asking their questions.
Whilst many of Mr Bercow’s answers emphasised the political impartiality of his role, he was forthright in his views on a number of matters. He responded to questions about his meetings with international figures, including the US President Barack Obama in 2011 and state counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi in 2012, both of whom he addressed in Parliament.
Suba Dickerson, Information and Learning Resources Manager, said: “This is a brilliant initiative from the Parliamentary Education Centre and was a great opportunity for Uxbridge College students to see Government brought to life. The students asked some excellent questions – they had obviously done their research and were completely on the ball with both current and constitutional affairs - and Mr Bercow certainly gave some excellent answers.”
The Q&A was part of the ‘Skype the Speaker’ pilot project by the Parliamentary Education Centre.