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22 June, 2006

National Youth Parliament Competition Winners announced

Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys in Canterbury was today declared the Winner of this year’s National Youth Parliament Competition. Westcliff School for Boys in Southend was named runner up and Pershore High School in Worcestershire won the ‘Best Question Time’ category.

The three teams beat schools from across the UK to be awarded the chance to attend a reception in the Houses of Parliament followed by tea at number 10 Downing Street in July.

Simon Langton’s winning entry was a debate on a proposed Bill to legalise and regulate prostitution. Individual pupils also picked up awards, Lily Martin winning Best Minister, Anna McCormick picking up the award for Best Backbencher and Sam Dobin the award for Best Prime Minister for Prime Minister's Question Time.

Local MP Julian Brazier commented: “Once again the Simon Langton has proved its capability for excellence. I know how hard pupils and teachers work each year on this competition and have never ceased to be amazed at the quality of political debate they achieve.”

Runners up Westcliff's entry was a debate on a proposed Bill to ban smoking in public places. Pupil Daniel MacPherson also picked up an individual award for “Best Leader of the Opposition” in the team’s Question Time debate.

Pershore won the Best Question Time category and picked up an individual award for Best Opposition Spokesperson for Sam Fowles in the team’s debate on a proposed bill to abolish private education in England and Wales.

The final was judged by Sarah Teather MP, David Willetts MP, Jan Newton, Citizenship Adviser to the DfES and Tony Breslin from the Citizenship Foundation. Speaking about the competition, David Willetts MP said “The National Youth Parliament Competition is an excellent way of helping young people learn about politics by practising it. They remind us how the Commons can be the heart of an effective democracy in the future as much as the past.”

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