A CABINET Minister, House of Lords peer, MP and a TV celebrity are to face a quizzing from young people at Havering College of Further and Higher Education this week.

David Willetts, the Universities and Science Minister, will join Lib Dem peer and former MP, Baroness Susan Kramer, Labour MP Rushanara Ali, writer/broadcaster Hardeep Singh Kohli and Havering College student Jamie Roper on the panel of a BBC Question Time-style politics show.

The college in Hornchurch, Essex, will be hosting a live webcast debate on Friday, June 1 as a prizewinner in the BBC’s Schools Questions and Answers competition.

The BBC’s deputy political editor James Landale is to chair the debate in The Space at the Havering College Ardleigh Green Campus.

The 45 minute webcast will go out live on Friday, June 1 at 12noon. People will be able to follow the debate at

The programme will be repeated on the BBC Parliament Channel on Sunday, June 3 at 7pm.

The 150-strong audience grilling the panel will be made up of Havering College students and pupils from secondary schools across Havering.

This week Havering College students enjoyed a masterclass session with BBC East political editor Deborah McGurran as preparation for the big debate.

Selected student panelist Jamie, 20, from Harold Wood, who is the college Student Union president, said:’I am delighted to have this opportunity to be an ambassador for the college by being on such a distinguished panel and contributing to the debate.’

The webcast prize is the result of the college’s curriculum manager for Media, Andy Popperwell, entering a five minute edited clip of Havering Asks in the Schools Questions and Answers competition. The Havering Asks event was organised by the college and Havering Council during Local Democracy Week last September and involved a filmed debate with an audience of 150 young people and a panel of politicians and celebrities.

Mr Popperwell, said: ‘Our students and staff are excited to be working with the BBC on a live broadcast. Young people will be able to question politicians and celebrities on the issues which matter to them. It will be a fantastic insight into the industry for our media students who will ask questions from the audience and shadow crew members from the BBC production team.’

Paul Champion

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Twitter: @blogapprentice
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