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Students and the Modern Britain Council had a unique opportunity to question the Speaker of the House the Rt Hon John Bercow MP via Skype.

Mr Bercow, the Conservative MP for Buckingham, answered questions from the students on 30 January 2017 covering a variety of issues from what he thought about the UK leaving the EU to how he became Speaker.

Throughout he wore a Federer baseball cap, explaining to the students it was in honour of the legendary tennis player's victory in the Australian Open the day before.

He was especially delighted with a question from Year 8 student Luke who asked which word he would choose to say instead of "Order" were he given a choice.
"I think I would change it to calm," said Mr Bercow.

"It would encourage colleagues to calm down - it is a slightly gentler, softer word than order.

"It is a question that, in my seven and a half years of being speaker, I have not yet been asked. Congratulations to Luke for such an original question."

Students also asked what was his favourite subject at school - which was English - an idea of what his day is like - he tries to start with a swim followed by a the school run - and then he was asked to describe his most memorable moment from his time as Speaker and he chose two.

The first was welcoming the Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi to Parliament in 2012. "That was a very special moment - I had admired her for many years,” he said.

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He also singled out the day the Same Sex Marriage legislation was passed in 2013.

"That was very fine day for Parliament and made a lot of people happy,” he said.

He finished the session – which was organised by Parliament's Education Service - by congratulating the students on the quality of their questions.

"You did a great job," he said.

Year 8 student Jodie - who asked Mr Bercow how he felt about the result of the EU Referendum - said it was an "amazing" experience.

"It's brilliant that our teachers arranged this for us, it was so interesting, “ she said.

"He really told us what he thought and didn't just say yes or no to our questions.

"I know this will be definitely be one of my main memories of being at Stoke Damerel."

The College's Modern Britain co-ordinator Mrs Burn said it had been "awesome" for the students who took part.

"It was a privilege to sit with our Year 8s and the Modern Britain Council as they asked him questions about his role,” said Mrs Burn.

“He was incredibly open with them and gave them detailed and thoughtful answers.

"For someone in his position to give 45 minutes of his day at the start of his week was absolutely wonderful,” she said.

"We couldn't have ended our Modern Britain topic of Democracy on a better note."


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