NewVIc students grill election hopefuls

Candidates at the forthcoming London assembly elections were grilled by NewVIc College students last week.

The Question Time-style debate was chaired by Paul Paulch-Edwards, government and politics teacher at the sixth-form college.

Labour’s John Biggs, Richard MacMillan of the Liberal Democrats, John Moss, of the Conservative Party and Chris Smith from Green Party all presented their manifestos.

Themes covered in the debate included the educational maintenance allowance (EMA), the London riots, the Olympic Games, and attitudes to youth and education.

Organiser Victoria Woodards, who is an academic mentor at NewVIc, said: “The event provided a fantastic insight into the people behind the campaigns.

“The students have really impressed me with their confident and well-informed questions.”

Zaakir Akhtar, 17, from Manor Park, is studying A-level government and politics.

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He was excited to have had the opportunity to speak directly to the candidates.

“The debate was very engaging and interesting. I am grateful to the college for organising such an informative event as it really helped me to understand information I was not aware of around the elections.

“Unfortunately I am not eligible to vote this year as I am only 17 but after attending the debate I am confident about who I am supporting.”