“We need to encourage young people to become critical thinkers.” These were some of Wera Hobhouse MP’s key messages to secondary school students during the recent Parliamentary recess.
Wera visited St Gregory’s Catholic College, King Edward’s School, Hayesfield Mixed Sixth Form and the Royal High School. She spoke in Sixth Form assemblies and to smaller groups of students, drawing on her own experience getting involved with politics when she was a student. In total she interacted with close to 500 secondary students in Bath. Wera passionately urged young people to get involved in politics. “Politics may seem intimidating but all you need to do is walk into your local party office and volunteer.”
Putting the role of an MP in context, Wera talked about the UK political system and the sovereignty of Parliament. She discussed campaigning and changing the law, giving the example of the upskirting bill she introduced. She described the ‘Hobson’s Choice’ that Brexit has become and why she supports a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal. Further topics Wera covered in Q&A sessions included how to make the Liberal Democrats a bigger force in UK politics, student transport, homelessness, social housing and animal testing.
Wera used her visits as an opportunity to launch her speech writing competition to celebrate the centenary of women’s right to vote and to get more young women into politics. The competition is open to young women between the ages of 16 - 18 years who live in Bath. They are invited to write a 500-word speech entitled “Why we need more women in politics”. The winner will spend a day shadowing Wera in the House of Commons, attending a Brexit Select Committee Meeting and an evening reception. The winning speech will be published in the Bath Chronicle. The deadline for entries is 5th November. More details are available here.