In response to an invitation from local MP Sadiq Khan, House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow MP, visited Tooting to speak to local sixth form and college students at Ernest Bevin College.
In an historic first, 100 students from Ernest Bevin College, Burntwood School, Graveney School, Chestnut Grove Academy and South Thames College, attended the event, hosted at Sadiq's old school Ernest Bevin.
Never before have all five 6th form colleges hosted an event and it was the first time a House of Commons speaker had visited Tooting.
Speaker Bercow spoke about the challenges he faces as the Speaker; to remain impartial and to encourage healthy debate in the House of Commons. Sadiq and the Speaker then answered students' questions, ranging from giving votes to 16 and 17 year olds to involving more women in politics and much more.
Sadiq Khan MP said:
"I was really pleased that I was able to persuade Speaker Bercow to accept my invitation to visit my old school, Ernest Bevin! It was even more pleasing having students from all our diverse schools together to listen to and quiz him.
“I am pleased the students were far less rowdy than us MPs can be in the Commons. That may have been one of the reasons why he enjoyed it so much!
"We have many fantastic schools and colleges in our local area, demonstrated by the students who attended. The knowledgeable, and often difficult questions made for a really lively discussion.
"The Speaker and I share a passion for increasing awareness about our parliament, and getting more young people involved in the political process. Party politics aside, it's about inspiring more young people to get involved, no matter which party they choose to support.”
Ismail Chebaiki (17) Sixth Form Student at Ernest Bevin College said:
“The talk was really beneficial because Mr Speaker gave us a behind the scenes perspective on the workings of Parliament. I didn’t realise that politics was so interesting and his talk has really motivated some of us to get more involved.”
Oscar Omo Head of Year 13 at Ernest Bevin College said:
“It was good to be able to host this talk at Ernest Bevin College and to bring together Sixth Formers from all the different Tooting schools. I think the students genuinely enjoyed the talk and they raised some really good points about the current political system in the Q&A session. “