Edge Hill University welcomed Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle, to campus for his first-hand account of life in politics.
Sir Lindsay sat down with Vice-Chancellor Dr John Cater and Politics Programme Leader Paula Keaveney to answer some tough questions about his career and his role as Speaker of the House, which he described as “the best job in the world”.
The Speaker shared his thoughts on Parliament’s reputation, his ambitions for the North and the importance of Prime Minister’s Question Time.
“What I want to do is have an easier, smoother, more respectful House of Commons. It’s about respecting different peoples’ views because that’s what matters to me; it’s about how people see the politicians.
“We should be the democracy that everybody else wants to copy, we should be the most respected democracy in the world, and I want to polish the image of Parliament; but I can only do that by better behaviour from the MPs.
“We’ve got to make the North the engine room of this economy once again but we’ve got to be one voice, one united front that stands together, then we can do it.”
When asked about the current mood in Parliament and the numerous controversies surrounding Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Sir Lindsay said: “If Parliament was a volcano it would have gone off.”
Sir Lindsay spoke to a group of politics students with local MP Rosie Cooper, both offering some sage advice on how to break into politics and what life as a politician is really like.
BA (Hons) Politics and Criminology student Katie Taylor said: “It was great to speak to Sir Lindsay about his role as speaker. I was especially inspired by his pride at being from the north and his love for Lancashire. Having a face-to-face chat with politicians and hearing first-hand how parliament works will help me in my ambition to become a diplomat.”
BA (Hons) Politics and Sociology student Thomas Jones said: “It was really interesting to find out the finer details of being the Speaker. It sounds like a tough job having to balance his responsibilities as a constituency MP as well as dealing with all the MPs and debates in parliament.”
Programme Leader for Politics Paula Keaveney said: “It was really great to hear about Mr Speaker’s work at first hand and to get to understand the pressures and the pleasures of such an important job.
“We’re very grateful for the time he spent with students. Events like these are an important part of Edge Hill’s approach to studying politics – it is the real people doing the real jobs that bring real understanding of what actually goes on in the real world of politics.”