May Trip to Parliament

Politics students headed to Parliament for a debate on Artificial Intelligence.

On Tuesday 21st May, seven bright-eyed pupils studying A level Politics made their way to Parliament to attend a debate and lunch. They were guests of an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) chaired by Lord Mair.

The lunch was held in the prestigious Cholmondeley Room, with its accompanying terrace which is the principal function room of the House of Lords.

The seven girls on the trip were seated next to MPs, Lords or invited guests from different industries and during lunch listened to three guest speakers who shared fascinating insights into the future of Artificial Intelligence.

This was followed by a question and answer session which extended the discussion onto the wider application of AI into areas such as medicine, aeronautics and agriculture. Both Natascha and Julia asked intelligent and perceptive questions which elicited admiration.

After lunch, we were extremely fortunate to meet Lord Rami Ranger (a family friend of Kim, one of the students) who gave us a tour of both the Lords and the Commons.
He guided us into the Royal Gallery then expertly through the maze of corridors to Central Lobby and from there into the glorious space which is Westminster Hall.

The group was even treated exclusive access to the Chapel of St Mary’s undercroft which was one of the few structures to survive the great fire of 1834. This was where suffragette Emily Davison hid, in a broom cupboard, in the 1911 census so that she could put the House of Commons down as her place of residence!

To cap off the day, the group was able to sit in on a select committee meeting in the Grand Committee Room and the girls were surprised to see MPs behaving much more consensually and constructively in comparison to the frenzy of PMQs.

As the girls made their way back to catch the Oxford Tube in the drizzle, Rania reflected on how many valuable insights she had gained into the workings of Westminster from just one day!