Ilford North MP gives Barkingside pupils a taste of life in Westminster

A dozen pupils from King Solomon High School were given a tour of the Houses of Parliament by Ilford

A dozen pupils from King Solomon High School were given a tour of the Houses of Parliament by Ilford North MP Wes Streeting. - Credit: Simon Round (BDBJ)

The best and brightest pupils at one of the borough’s schools were treated to a once in a lifetime experience at the home of British politics last week.

Youngsters from the gifted and talented group at King Solomon High School, Forest Road, Barkingside, visited the palace of Westminster as the special guests of Ilford North MP Wes Streeting.

The visit, organised by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Jews, gave 12 pupils, aged 14 to 19, the chance to be taken around Parliament by Mr Streeting.

They were given a guided tour of the House of Commons chamber, the Robing Room, the House of Lords chamber and the many historical artefacts present in the historic palace.

They then had the opportunity to have a political discussion with Mr Streeting.

Topics included the rise of the far right, UKIP, getting involved in politics, immigration and antisemitism. Tehzeeb Bukhari felt inspired by the experience

She said: “My experience visiting the Houses of Parliament was amazing.

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“The fact that we had a tour guide from the head of our Ilford North constituency, Wes Streeting, really made my experience, as someone who is in the process of becoming a Labour councillor, and one day, hopefully an MP.”

Natasha Schiffman said: “Going to Parliament was an incredible opportunity and it was extremely interesting to find out more about politics and how laws are made in our country.”

Harry Markham, who as well as studying at the school is also founder of Essex Friends of Israel, added: “I wholeheartedly believe that without Wes Streeting, the experience would have been a bore.

“Despite the difference in our views, Wes gave such an insightful tour that I really benefited from.”

Board of Deputies parliamentary officer Joel Salmon felt “privileged” to have helped organise the visit.

He said: “Seeing the students engage in the cut and thrust of political debate with one of the country’s leading MPs was fantastic to see.

“They are the political stars of the future. I am really excited to run similar trips with other schools in the future.”