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Speaker faces a tough crowd
11:00am Thursday 14th June 2012 in Local
Buy this photo » John Bercow entertaining young guests. Buy photo: 231218J
THE Speaker of the House of Commons stopped off in Dudley to answer tough questions from the borough’s teens.
The Rt Honourable John Bercow MP visited the Council House, where he answered questions about youth unemployment, health, education and media in a special debate of Dudley Youth Council and students from borough secondary schools, chaired by the mayor of Dudley, councillor Melvyn Mottram.
The visit marks the first time in the borough’s history that Dudley has received an official visit from the serving Speaker of the House of Commons.
Mr Bercow said: “I am delighted to have had the opportunity to visit Dudley and Stourbridge.
“I have been greatly impressed with the warmth of the welcome I have received on my visit and the commitment of Dudley’s young people to engaging in political life.
“It was also a great privilege to be able to honour one of the area’s greatest heroes, Frank Foley, by delivering a lecture in his name.”
The meeting followed a visit to Old Swinford Hospital School in Stourbridge, arranged by Dudley North MP Ian Austin, where Mr Bercow gave a lecture about Mr Foley, an MI6 agent who helped thousands of Jews escape Nazi Germany during World War Two.
Speaking about the historic visit, Ian Austin MP said: “Politics shouldn’t be seen as something that is remote or of little relevance to people’s lives.
“Times are tough for young people and many in the audience will have felt at first-hand the consequences of decisions made recently at Westminster so I think it’s important we hold events like this so that young people knowthey are being listened to and that their views count.”