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PolEconUK Conference

Posted: 18th March 2024

Last Monday, Year 12 and 13 Politics Students had the opportunity to attend a Politics conference (PolEcon) alongside nearly 2000 other students at Methodist Central Church, Westminster. The speakers, made up of notable figures from across the political spectrum such as Wes Streeting, Baroness Chakrabarti, Lord Dubs, Richard Tice (leader of the Reform Party) and deputy leader of the Green Party, Zack Polanski, who engaged the audience with their short yet enticing talks. They were also directly challenged by members in the audience, which was certainly entertaining.

Alongside these politicians, we also heard from a series of political correspondents, including Ed Vaizey, who spoke to us about the importance of the press in shaping the political atmosphere, and how the campaigns of political parties are increasingly focusing on social media to appeal to younger voters. A highlight for all was when Jacob Rees Mogg was questioned regarding his decision to recline on the seats in the House of Commons – to which his answer was along the lines of ‘I was just doing what they did in the olden days!’, and when Tice was asked some unusual questions about his opinions on Donald Trump.

The final talk of the day was a Q&A session with Rory Stewart and Alistair Campbell, respected political correspondents (and a former MP, in Stewart’s case) in their own right, who are best known for hosting the successful The Rest is Politics podcast, where they discuss both national and global news stories and developments. We heard some insightful questions from other students and really enjoyed seeing Campbell and Stewart in the flesh, and witnessing the dynamic relationship between the two. Some of us even managed to get our books signed by them after the conference!

A big thank you to Mrs Garrill and Mr Martini-Phillips for organising and accompanying us on the trip. It was a fantastic opportunity to enrich our political knowledge outside the classroom and was certainly an unforgettable experience!

Lauren S and Mia B, Year 12

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