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At the end of February, a group of Sixth Form pupils from St John’s had the chance to put questions to a panel of local politicians visiting another nearby school. The 13 pupils from St John’s joined forces with groups from City of London Freemen’s School, Ewell Castle School, Rosebery School and also Epsom College, who hosted the event.
The panel of high-profile visitors who came to brave fire from the eager pupils represented the full spectrum of mainstream British politics: from the Conservative party was Right Honourable Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Justice, Lord Chancellor and Conservative MP for Epsom and Ewell. Alongside him were local parliamentary candidates Shelia Carlson (Labour), Steve Gee (Liberal Democrats), Susan McGrath (Green Party) and Robert Leach (UKIP).
The questions they faced were wide-ranging, covering topics such as social inequality, gay marriage and reducing the deficit. Ben Whybrow (Upper Sixth, Surrey House) asked a very challenging question to Chris Grayling, about the connection between hedge fund donors to the Conservative party and alleged tax avoidance by those same hedge funds. Overall, the visit was most beneficial to the pupils in bringing alive current affairs and encouraging them to question the established thinking of influential people in national affairs.
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