School pupils not as unruly as MPs - speaker jokes on visit to Ely
22:15 29 April 2014
The Speaker of the House of Commons joked that it was easier to control a group of school students than a crowd of unruly MPs on a visit to Ely last Thursday.
John Bercow was at King’s Ely where he spoke to hundreds of pupils on the workings of parliament and his role as speaker, where he was often tasked with controlling noisy parliamentarians during Prime Minister’s Questions.
He said: “I love sitting in the chair but I have to say that school pupils are far better behaved than MPs, they are much friendly and certainly quieter, too.”
Since he was elected as speaker in 2009, Mr Bercow said he had resolved to visit about 20 schools per year outside of his Buckingham constituency to promote the work of politicians.
He was invited to speak at King’s by his cousin, David, who is head boy at the school.
Mr Bercow said: “There are certain roles that the speaker has and, when I was standing for election, I said that I intended to go out and try to get around schools and colleges to talk about the role of the speaker and the functions of parliament.
“Whether I am good as a speaker is for others to judge but I felt it was important that I went out and helped young people feel involved.
“I relish the challenge of talking to and hearing from the pupils because I feel we’ve got to change how we engage with the young, we’ve got to inspire them to get involved with politics.”