Last week Birkbeck’s Parliamentary Studies students visited Parliament, where we met Mr Speaker, talked Brexit and peeked into the Commons and Lords.
The Speaker John Bercow was kind enough to spare half an hour to chat about his job and answer questions from our students about his support for urgent questions (holds the government’s feet to the fire), whether ‘managing’ MPs was more like rugby than football (rugby) and why some MPs felt that his outreach and visits were all a bit ‘below stairs’.
We then talked through the complications of Brexit and laws with a House of Lords official before moving on to a tour of the old building, where we gazed up at the wooden roof held up with no nails, Charles I’s trial spot and a statue’s spur broken by a suffragette.
Ben Worthy is Lecturer in Politics at Birkbeck. He teaches on Parliamentary Studies, Contemporary British Politics and Digital Politics at an undergraduate level, and Qualitative and Quantitative Methods and Public Policy for postgraduates. His book The Politics of Freedom of Information: How and Why Governments Pass Laws That Threaten Their Power was published in 2017.