Students’ Union President hosts Leader of the House of Commons on campus visit

6 July 2018

University of Buckingham - Andrea Leadsom, Leader of the House of CommonsThe University of Buckingham was honoured to host the Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, after Students’ Union President Shayne Tshabalala invited her and organised the visit.

Students had the chance to participate in a Q&A and spend one to one time with Leadsom chatting over coffee with her. The aim of the Leaders’ Symposium event was to focus on the attributes of leadership and for students to learn from inspiring leaders.

Jon Harvey, Mayor of Buckingham; Phil Smith, Chairman of Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership (MKBLP) and Hannah Graham, Policy and Youth Engagement Manager, UK Youth, also spoke at the event. Jane Tapsell, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, was present.

Leadsom talked about the challenges women in public life experience and touched on the murder of remainer MP Jo Cox in 2016. She also spoke about the treatment of women in Parliament: “the incredible effort of those suffragettes and suffragists 100 years ago who fought to make it possible for me, as a woman, to be sat here I front of you today, as the leader of the House of Commons.”

One of her aims, as part of her brief to be involved in “cleaning up” the Commons is to make parliament a place where young people can feel able to bring about change and speak their minds. “The message I want to leave you with today is if you want to see something change, keep at it. Do an e-petition or go and see your member of parliament.”

Stating concern about the threat to freedom of speech, she believes students should “never allow free speech to be sunk under your watch”.

University of Buckingham - Andrea Leadsom, Leader of the House of CommonsSir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham said: “Shayne did an amazing job getting the Leader of the House of Commons to come and speak and meet students on campus. We are enormously grateful to Andrea for being particularly generous with her time and not only doing a talk but also giving a number of students her undivided attention on a one to one basis which they really appreciated.”

Students’ Union President Shayne added: “It was truly an honour to host the leader of the House of Commons in a historic visit to the University of Buckingham. Honoured guests the Lord Mayor, Dr Phillip Smith, Hannah Graham, Sir Anthony Seldon and Jane Tapsell made the Leaders’ Symposium a massive success and inspiration for students. I would like to thank everyone involved in the event and I look forward to continuing to shine a light on our great University in whatever way I can.”