Havering College students meet challenge of broadcasting their version of BBC’s Question Time

PUBLISHED: 14:21 05 December 2016 | UPDATED: 14:33 05 December 2016

The show's backstage crew standing behind the Havering Asks panellists.

The show's backstage crew standing behind the Havering Asks panellists.

Havering College

Panellists from across the political spectrum were kept on their toes answering tough questions from a young audience on Friday.

Student working hard behind the scenes to make sure Havering Asks broadcasts smoothly.Student working hard behind the scenes to make sure Havering Asks broadcasts smoothly.

Now in its sixth year, Havering College’s answer to BBC’s Question Time, Havering Asks, was once again chaired by BBC World Service’s Fred Dove.

The diverse panel featured Labour MP for Ilford South Mike Gapes, Hannah Clare co-chair of the Young Greens, Gulwali Passarlay, a former child migrant from Afghanistan and Lord Edward Faulks QC, Conservative peer and former minister of state for justice.

A student sparked a fierce debate between the panellists when he asked: “Will the UK’s future be brighter outside the European Union?”

“No,” said Miss Claire.

“I was pro remain. The great benefit of the EU was about cooperation. I feel upset a group of old people have taken that away from me.”

Lord Faulks added: “We do have to move on. I voted remain but there was some good reasons for why people voted to leave the European Union. We are a great country. We will survive this.”

Mr Gapes continued: “I am very worried about this. We are £122billion in debt, we are going to be worse off for several years. Constitutionally, it is an advisory referendum and I will represent my constituents to remain.

Mr Passarlay was met with a round of applause from the young audience when he said: “Why should old people just get the right to vote?”

He continued: “I was certain that we were going to vote to stay. The majority who voted to leave did it in good faith.

“It makes me angry that people who can vote, didn’t vote and 16-year-olds should be able to vote. If that was allowed the result would have been completely different.”

The show’s executive editor, Andy Popperwell said the programme gave young people the opportunity to debate issues with the people who will shape their futures.

Questions ranged from whether president-elect Trump would make the world more stable to whether the rise in university fees was acceptable.

Mr Dove, who has presented the debate show for the fourth year in a row, said: “It’s a fantastic thing. I’m pleased to be a part of it.”

The show’s director, media student Jack Rust, 18, added: “It was really good.”

Mr Popperwell continued: “It’s a wonderful chance for our creative media students to work on a near-professional show, one that will certainly make a big impression on a future employer or a university.”

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