As journalism students, we’re always passionate about current events, including the ever-changing world of politics. On our student blog, Inside The Box, there’s a plethora of political commentary pieces, but on Tuesday 21st February, we visited Parliament and caught a fascinating glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes.
After traversing the London Underground, we arrived in Westminster. The hustle and bustle of London surrounded us as we made our way to the Palace of Westminster for our guided tour. We were greeted by Sandy, a member of MP Paul Bristow’s team, who took us on a tour. The tour included the Royal Gallery, a room used for parliamentary ceremonies and state receptions. We also visited The Robing Room, which is used by the monarch for the state opening of Parliament, after putting on their ceremonial robes and crown - it felt as if we were standing in the middle of British history itself. One of the most exciting parts of our tour was the Central Lobby, where we learned about lobby journalism: reporting stories about the political proceedings in Parliament. This lobby joins together the corridors of the House Of Lords, the House Of Commons and Westminster Hall and serves as a meeting point for MPs and their constituents.
Then, we headed back into Westminster Hall where we were met by our very own MP, Paul Bristow. The opportunity to ask questions about the future of Peterborough as well as what is currently in the works for our city arose. Welcoming and friendly in manner, Mr Bristow was keen to tell us all about his plans to improve the train station and his vision for Peterborough. In true journalist fashion, we seized the chance to ask questions and learn more about his role and what it’s like working in Parliament.
One of the highlights of our action-packed day was sitting in on a debate in the House Of Commons, which included Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab. In this session, Mr Raab was urged by MPs to guarantee protection for women in court as well as make developments in preventing youth crime. MPs from all over the country were taking part in this debate as we saw, representing their constituencies. We saw the inner workings of our government, and overall it was an insightful and valuable experience for all those involved.