Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Scores of young voters met Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, in Parliament last Wednesday evening.

    Peter said, “I was delighted so many young people came to Parliament for my annual meeting with young voters. It was a particularly exciting time to visit Parliament – on the day of the first clash between Gordon Brown and David Cameron at Prime Minister‘s Questions. They came and packed into the Grand Committee Room for a lively discussion, bombarding me with questions about the need for a referendum on the European Constitutional Treaty, gay adoption, the Iraq war, the role of independent and selective schools, how to make devolution fair to England and whether the Lords should be elected.

    “Young voters are often said to be apathetic – I found those from Hitchin and Harpenden energised about the issues of today.

    “After the formal discussion and visit to both Houses most of us adjourned for informal discussion which continued late into the evening.

    “As always I found the meeting invaluable and enjoyable. MPs need to keep in touch with young peoples’ views and this annual meeting helps me do so.

    “Too much discussion about education is on the basis of MPs‘ recollection of their own school days or on superficial reports. So I asked my visitors what truth there was in recent criticisms of the curriculum? There was widespread feeling that – particularly in science teaching – the changes currently being introduced were replacing substance by superficial debate which failed to interest those not specialising in science nor to equip those who were planning to do so. This is very worrying and I shall urge ministers to stop listening to office bound ‘experts‘ and get out into the schools to talk to pupils and teachers before further dumbing down the curriculum.”