Order! Order! Commons Speaker visits University of Hull

Speaker visits Hull University
11 May 2018

The Speaker addressed students who are studying the Parliamentary Studies Module, which is being delivered by 20 universities across the UK – including Hull - and is taught by university lecturers and clerks from the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

John Bercow lifted the lid on his role as referee over the often rowdy Commons chamber, during a lecture about “Why Parliament Matters” to students at the University of Hull. He also told students about his efforts to make Parliament more appealing to young people. During his speech, the Speaker said as chair of Commons debates, he faces an uphill battle trying to calm down noisy MPs, particularly during Prime Minister’s Questions – which is the most watched parliamentary session of the week. He said:

“The only way we can really stamp out this behaviour is if the party whips instruct their MPs to stop the catcalling and the abuse,”

The University of Hull has been named the top university for admitting a balanced intake from different social backgrounds - and has a proud record of producing Special Advisers.

Firmsik Bilbas, 19, who is studying Philosophy, Politics & Economics, said of Mr Bercow’s talk:

“He’s a legend - everybody finds him so cool. We just love his enthusiasm and the fact he champions Parliament above government.”

Simon Thompson, 20, who is studying British Politics & Legislative Studies, said the Speaker’s visit was very timely. He said:

“I was taking notes of what he said about internal reforms of the House of Commons. We’ve got exams coming up so his talk will certainly boost the mark up a little.”

Lord Norton of Louth, who is a Professor of Government and the university’s Director of the Centre for Legislative Studies, said:

“The Speaker’s lecture provides a wonderful complement to our on-campus teaching and provides a great insight into the work of Parliament. It is invaluable for the students, most of whom will be on placement at Westminster next year as part of our parliamentary placement scheme, which has been running now for 30 years.”

Image: Parliamentary copyright 

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