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2 July, 2008

Prime Minister and leading MPs applaud NYPC winners in Westminster

The Prime Minister and leading MPs from the major political parties attended a lively celebration event on Wednesday 2nd July at Portcullis House where Cranleigh School in Surrey were named overall Winner of the Citizenship Foundation’s National Youth Parliament Competition 2007/2008.

Gordon Brown presents the award for Best Prime MinisterThe 35-strong Cranleigh School team led the competition against 120 secondary schools with an informed and impassioned debate on 'Combating obesity in 21st century Britain'.

Prizes for all the finalist school teams and individuals were awarded by leading politicians including the Prime Minister, the Lord Chancellor, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, key Shadow Ministers and the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Overall Winner

  • Cranleigh School, Cranleigh, Surrey

Presented by Anne Milton MP, Shadow Minister for Health and Michael Gove MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.

Joint Runners Up

  • Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys
  • Canterbury Cheltenham Bournside School and Sixth Form Centre

Presented by the Rt. Hon. William Hague MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary

Best Minister

  • Patrick "Paddy" Harman, Cranleigh School

Presented by Bridget Prentice MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice

Best Opposition Minister

  • Benedict Sanderson, Cranleigh School

Presented by Tim Loughton MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families

Best Speaker

  • Richard Ball, Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, Canterbury

Presented by the Rt. Hon. Michael Martin MP, Speaker of the House of Commons

Best Backbencher

  • Jess Whitehead, Cranleigh School

Presented by Jo Swinson MP, Shadow Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Best Question Time

  • Wolfreton School, Hull

Presented by the Rt. Hon. Jack Straw MP, Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor

Best Prime Minister (Prime Minister's Question Time)

  • James Underwood, Wolfreton School

Presented by the Rt. Hon Gordon Brown MP, Prime Minister

Best Leader of the Opposition (Prime Minister's Question Time)

  • Joe Robertson, Wolfreton School

Presented by the Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Joint Winners Press Officer category

  • Robert May's School, Odiham, Hampshire
  • Bex Bailey, Rushcliffe School West Bridgeford, Nottinghamshire

Presented by Andrew Phillips OBE, President of the Citizenship Foundation

The judging panel of MPs from the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties applauded Cranleigh School's winning performance in delivering: "A good interactive debate The judging panel of MPs from Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties applauded the team's performance in delivering: "A good interactive debate, not just set piece speeches" based on "good research on issues and crossover from health to other areas". They also rewarded the team for their "fluent presentations" and ability to create an "excellent atmosphere".

The judges also nominated individual Awards for Cranleigh School team members. Patrick ‘Paddy' Harman was named ‘Best Minister', Benedict Sanderson was named ‘Best Opposition Minister' and Jess Whitehead was named ‘Best Backbencher'.

Cranleigh School's entry was judged by a panel of 16 MPs and Ministers, including Roger Gale Conservative MP for North Thanet, who described the competition, now in its seventeenth successful year as: "A good stamping ground for tomorrow's Parliamentary awkward squad!" The other finalist schools contributed debates on: the reduction of the minimum voting age to 16, introduction of a compulsory DNA database, and abolition of the monarchy in the UK. MPs from all parties supported the schools.

Tony Breslin, Chief Executive at the Citizenship Foundation congratulated Cranleigh School on winning the National Youth Parliament Competition: "With citizenship issues at the very heart of the UK news agenda this award demonstrates tremendous enthusiasm of young people for debating the tough issues we all confront. We congratulate the commitment of all the citizenship-rich schools who entered the Competition and for providing young people with the knowledge, skills, dispositions and the confidence to play their role within society through the citizenship curriculum and beyond."

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