A Day in the Life of an MP

MP for East Hampshire, Damian Hinds, recently visited Alton College to give a talk to College students studying Law, Politics and History joined by a selection of pupils from Amery Hill School and Eggar’s School. The talk entitled ‘A Day in the Life of an MP’ started with Damian explaining the range of activities he undertakes on a daily basis including casework, correspondence, campaigns, legislation, gathering views, questions and debates. He also discussed his constituency, some of the issues that are raised by the population he represents including immigration, the NHS, education and he also talked about his path to becoming an MP. 

After the initial exposition, students from College and both schools asked a range of topical questions particularly pertinent to students at this point in their life. The first question raised was ‘What is the Department for Education doing to make employers aware of the new grading system for GCSEs?’ Students were particularly concerned that the change from the letter grading system to numerical grading system had not fully been explained to pupils or the wider working world and were anxious that this might jeopardise their route into employment. Damian explained that the government has planned an awareness campaign for employers about the change and that the change was a positive thing as it removed the ‘tolerance’ levels from the old grades to include a more specific grade range. He emphasised that the pupils were the most important people and that they would be getting a more accurate representation of their ability rather than a more general grade.

Other interesting questions were ‘How do you align your personal beliefs, the opinions of your constituents and the Conservative party policies?’ and ‘What advice would you give to people worried about Brexit?’

Another heated discussion came from the question ‘How do you think the Tory party can justify cuts in funding to the Public Services?’ The student supported their question by highlighting the recent increase in knife crime in London and terrorist attacks on home soil. In Mr Hinds’ answer he outlined the fact that over the long-term, crime in general has decreased since its peak in 1994 and there is a downward trend in offences. He explained that after the global financial crash of 2008 the government reduced public spending across all departments except the NHS and department of education in order to fund the deficit, but also stated that the police budget has now been protected.

The hour-long session flew by with some hot topics under discussion. Staff and students are already looking forward to the next visit from their local MP.