Written by Nabeela on behalf of MWM
Monday 9th April – Trip to Westminster Palace arranged for MWM members
Hosted by Siobhan McDonagh- Labour M.P for Mitcham and Morden
The day started off dull and wet as far as the weather was concerned but this did not reflect the interesting, bright day that we all ended up experiencing. Our group consisted of young and old: 14 years old to 40 something!
Umbrellas came down and minds were alert as we started our tour with Siobhan McDonagh M.P for Mitcham and Morden (M.P since 1997) who was our official guide for the day. It was rewarding to hear the meaningful and interesting questions which came her way in our Question and Answer session!
Our group were at their best in their search for knowledge, we learnt what life was like as an M.P, the different elected representatives in Parliament, the proposed changing of electoral boundaries, the history behind the Palace and much more. We were not disappointed with the knowledge Siobhan gave us!
The trip round Westminster Palace took us through the historic Parliamentary ages from Oliver Cromwell to Winston Churchill through to Margaret Thatcher. We were treated to a close-up view of the House of Commons and House of Lords and walked through the voting lobby where history is made on a regular basis when M.P s vote through bills which become part of our British lives. The most poignant thing was being allowed down to Westminster Chapel and seeing the tiny broom cupboard where Suffragette Emily Davison hid illegally during the night of the 1911 census, in protest, as she campaigned for women’s rights: her address that night, ironically, was recorded as the House of Commons!
What a super trip with a great host in Siobhan who went above and beyond to ensure we had such an interesting experience: lots to think about and ponder on about the corridors of power and the importance of Suffrage!