Herstmonceux Castle raises the drawbridge to welcome local MP

Bader International Study Centre (BISC) Politics students welcomed Bexhill and Battle MP, Huw Merriman, to their campus at Herstmonceux Castle last Friday to learn more about UK Parliament and politics.

BISC is the UK campus of Queens University of Canada where first year degree students have the unique opportunity to study a wide range of subjects at Herstmonceux Castle.  The Politics students who have already visited Parliament were keen to find out more about how UK politicians are selected, Huw’s career path leading to Parliament and the range of work that MPs do in Westminster and in the constituency.

Students were particularly interested to discuss the role of social media in modern politics and how the UK’s political system encourages diversity in Parliament.

Huw said “It was a great pleasure to talk to the university students studying at Herstmonceux Castle. They have already gained a good understanding of our political system in the UK and it was good to help expand their knowledge. 

“It was also interesting for me to discuss the role of social media in politics with them. This is particularly topical at the moment in relation to Brexit where politicians and members of the public take to social media to share views and information. I feel that sometimes communicating by social media is not always helpful and, sadly, it is increasingly used by people to be abusive or threatening. Whilst social media has a role to play in communications, I think it’s more important to provide my constituents with as much information as possible by holding public meetings, regular newsletters, local press and on my website.

“As to increasing diversity amongst our representatives in Parliament, I think the system is already improving but much more needs to be done to ensure that the system and culture at Westminster is inclusive and accessible to everyone regardless of race, sex, religion and sexual preference. Only then can we ensure that our Parliament is truly representative of our society.”

Charan Rainford, Academic Instructor at BISC said “I thought it was a very engaging and fruitful session, and I know the students appreciated the insights that they got into the UK political process and into some of the important ongoing issues and debates.”