STUDENTS at Skipton Girl’s High School visited Westminster in the City of London in order to enrich their knowledge of UK Politics.

One, Georgia Bateson, said: "It was really insightful to see the inner workings of Parliament, and it brought to life everything I’ve been learning so far."

The A-level students were taken on a tour of Parliament, including the oldest building on the estate, Westminster Hall, the location of the lying in-state of the late Queen Elizabeth in September, 2022.

What some claimed to be the highlight, was however witnessing live debates in both the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

In the House of Lords, students listened to a debate on the Israel-Hamas war, while in the Commons, from the public gallery, they were excited to witness ten minutes of a debate between Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and leader of the Opposition, Sir Kier Starmer.

The two leaders discussed funding for the war in Ukraine, which they appeared to be united over, and Mr Sunak highlighted that the UK is one of the leading donors for the conflict. Among some of the other politicians seen by the students during the day was Sir Liam Fox, former Minister of Defence, and various MPs including Dr Rupa Huq.

Throughout the tour and accompanying workshop the students were frequently told the importance of voting in the impending election, particularly since many will be voting in their first General Election.

After taking part in the workshop in Parliament’s Education Centre, the MP for Skipton and Ripon, Julian Smith, spared the time to pay them a visit after just returning from Number 10.

They raised questions ranging from his experience prior to becoming an MP, to whether his priority is serving his party or constituents first.

One student said: "It was a really engaging and interesting discussion. It was great to hear about his first hand experience as our MP’’.

Mr Smith also inquired about the students’ plans for the future, giving valuable advice to the students who wanted to continue studying politics. Some of the students hope to carry out work experience with Mr Smith to help kickstart their careers in politics. The students all agreed that they had an excellent trip, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the workings of Parliament, with many of them hoping that they can return again next year.