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Afternoon tea at House of Lords for debating team

The five students who won the English Speaking Union’s Mace Debating Competition were invited to a tour of the House of Lords followed by afternoon tea.

Elo, Anna, Holly, Ellen (all Year 11) and Isabel (Year 12) were invited by The Rt Hon. the Lord Boateng to a private tour of The Houses of Parliament after winning the competition.

The team arrived with Mr Noel and met The Baroness Fox of Buckley in the lobby; she gave Elo, who was to deliver a speech, some tips on public speaking.

Lord Boateng met the team and gave an extensive tour of the House of Lords and House of Commons, including the Queen’s Robing Room and the voting Lobbies.

He also introduced the team to The Viscount Stansgate, son of Tony Benn, who spoke to the team about the hereditary system in the Lords.

The team then were invited to The English Speaking Union’s annual afternoon tea on the terrace overlooking the Thames.

At the event, Elo was given the opportunity to deliver a speech on the importance of diversity and representation in debating. She spoke articulately about the important opportunities debating can give to minority groups.

Debating will start again in September for Years 10-13.

I had an amazing experience visiting the House of Lords. We were lucky enough to be given a tour around the House of Lords by Lord Boateng and it was interesting to learn about the history and architecture of the building. The afternoon tea was also very enjoyable; it was a privilege to give a talk about the importance of diversity in debating - a topic that I am passionate about. The other speeches were very insightful, and we also had the opportunity to speak to a wide range of guests at the event.

elo, year 11