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Cherwell School Question Time debate

Cherwell2013.jpgAndrew Smith MP took part in a Question Time event at Cherwell School. 

The event was the first of its kind and was arranged and put together by Year 9 student Greg Holyoke who organised the debate as part of his GCSE Citizenship project.

Andrew was joined in the debate by five other panellists including, Oxford West and Abingdon Conservative MP Nicola Blackwood, Oxford City Council Lib-Dem leader Jean Fooks, the UK Independence Party's Harry Aldridge and Green MEP Keith Taylor. 

Overall the event was a great success, with panellists invited to give their opinions on a range of current affairs and issues relevant to young people today ranging from engaging young people into politics, to contemporary issues such as global warming and child poverty. 

The questions that were debated included "is gay marriage a moral or political issue?", "is politics accessible to young people?" and "are university fees a barrier to young people achieving their full potential?"

Students voted for who they would support before the debate, and towards the end of each session - Labour won two out of three of the votes and in aggregate came out on top with 51% of the vote.

Andrew said: "It was good to be able to respond to the issues the young people raised. I was very impressed by the thoughtful and interesting questions put forward by students at the school. It was encouraging to see how engaged and knowledgeable they are about current affairs and the political process."

Greg Holyoke said: "It was fantastic for Andrew Smith MP to come to our school and take part in the debate. Andrew was an engaging panellist and it was reassuring to hear our local politicians taking the opinions of young people seriously. Overall, the event was thoroughly enjoyable and a tremendous success amongst staff and students."

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