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Lords Peer visits local schools 17 October 2008

Lord Hoyle visited two Island secondary schools today (Friday) as part of the Peers in Schools programme.

The Labour Peer and former Warrington North MP was participating in the scheme for the first time. He spoke to students at St Ninian’s High School, Douglas, and Ramsey Grammar School, Ramsey, about his background and how he came to sit in the House of Lords.

The Peers in Schools programme involves Members of the House of Lords visiting schools and colleges across the British Isles to talk to students and answer questions about the work and role of the House. Peers in Schools is part of the outreach and engagement programme at the House of Lords. It is aimed at connecting external audiences with the work and members of the House through outreach visits, events within parliament, online engagement initiatives and cross-platform projects. Lord Hoyle

There are 60 peers involved in the growing programme, initiated by the Lord Speaker in 2007, through which about 5,000 young people have had the opportunity to meet and ask questions of a Member of the House of Lords.

Lord Hoyle, who is 78, was a Labour MP from 1974 to 1997, when he was raised to the Peerage as Baron Hoyle of Warrington. His Lords career has seen him act as Government spokesman on Defence, the Home Office and Agriculture and serve as a Government Whip. He holds office on several all-party groups. He has twice been a member of the Labour Party’s National Executive and chaired the Parliamentary Labour Party between 1992 and 1997.

Ramsey Grammar School politics teacher Gwyn Davies said:

‘Lord Hoyle was engaging and spoke on a wide range of issues. He gave a very good outline of the work of the House of Lords. What was best was the fact that Lord Hoyle answered all the questions the students asked and had not asked for any of the questions in advance. The students felt he was positive role model for politics and politicians.’

Sara Crisford, head of social science at St Ninian’s High School, said:

‘Lord Hoyle spoke to the students for about 15 minutes with a general introduction to the House of Lords. After that he opened the floor for questions. Our students kept him occupied with questions ranging from the state of democracy in the UK and who will win the Presidential election in USA to the highs and lows of his political career, together with the changes he has witnessed in politics throughout it.'

She said:

‘The students have all been incredibly positive about the experience. They really warmed to Lord Hoyle's friendly manner and took full advantage of the opportunity to find out more about the UK political system and the experiences of Lord Hoyle himself.’

Lord Hoyle is pictured with students at St Ninian’s High School (Isle of Man Newspapers – www.phototoday.co.uk)

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