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17 October, 2005

Joseph Leckie pupil takes tea at 10 Downing Street today

Neema Begum, a pupil from Joseph Leckie Technology Community College, who has been awarded the national prize for Best Opposition Spokesperson in the National Youth Parliament Competition, takes tea today at Downing Street. Neema was due to receive her award from Oliver Heald, MP, at a ceremony at the House of Lords on 7 July. Unfortunately, due to the bus bomb in Tavistock Square, she did not make it to the ceremony. However, she is keen to make it today and is determined that the tragedy which occurred last week should not stop her or other students’ lives continuing as normal.

Chosen by a cross-party panel of MPs, Joseph Leckie also competed against 4 other schools in the finals, having been chosen as the ‘winning school’ in its heat for its debate about introducing national identity cards.

Open to 11-18 year olds nationwide, the competition, run by the Citizenship Foundation and sponsored by Norwich Union, helps bring to life the process of politics and government by offering young people the opportunity to set up and video their own parliamentary session. The competition this year involved over 3,000 young people across the UK.

Tony Breslin, chief executive, Citizenship Foundation says, “Neema Begum from Joseph Leckie College has done extremely well this year to win the Best Opposition Spokesperson award, as indeed, did the rest of the team for reaching the national finals. We are very pleased Neema is able to make it to Downing Street in the aftermath of last week’s events.”

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