Mayor's Question Time
Mayor's Question Time 1
Last week, forty Politics students went to City Hall to see the Mayor's Question Time. I was excited and I expected to see real, mature discussions on important issues with regards to running and improving our city. Optimistically, I took my seat, preparing myself to witness something new and different. It started off well with Sadiq Khan reprimanding Donald Trump for his typical racist remarks so I had high hopes. However it quickly took a turn for the worse when the issue of knife crime came about. When asked if he, the Mayor of London could guarantee that young, black males would be targeted less during stop and searches, he avoided answering the question by repeating old information. As you would expect, this frustrated many and caused an argument to erupt in a rather unprofessional manner in the Chamber. It was a farce and we, the audience thought it was unbelievable. We all tried not to laugh and at one point a UKIP assembly member turned around to face us and gave us a look saying 'can you believe this?' We didn't watch it for long but from what we saw, it appeared as if party politics were taken as a priority over solving actual issues which left us all very disappointed.
Afterwards, we had a talk on the history of the Greater London Authority and I was left truly surprised at how much has happened in London. We were given a tour of the wonderful building with its innovative structure and energy saving designs and I was thoroughly amazed that I was standing exactly where the final of The Apprentice had taken place. All in all, it was an enjoyable day with interesting moments. Despite the Mayor's Question Time being not what I expected, I learnt a lot about how politics works when applied in a real life context so it was a valuable experience.
Ama Weerakkody (Student)
Mayor's Question Time 2
On Thursday the 18th of January, me and around 40 other first year Government and Politics students, were lucky enough to go see Sadiq Khan answer (or avoid answering shall we say) some questions from the London Assembly members in the beautiful City Hall. We were given a talk about London and the history of the Greater London Authority, followed by a visit to the 9th floor overlooking a beautiful London sky line, topped off with the famous stroll down the spiral walk way.
The more notable events of the day came in the form of an angry Mr Khan, a relentless MP and an extremely heated exchange of words on the topic of knife crime. When faced with questions about what he has changed in his fight to reduce knife crime in London, and further questions about the targeting of young black males by the police, in regards to 'stop and search' schemes, Sadiq Khan began to fumble. After dodging the questions fired by Conservative MP, Sean Bailey, four times, the mayor became angry and was reduced to throwing playground insults at the frustrated Bailey about him being "ill-informed".
We saw an uncomfortable ordeal played out, on a trip to go see what mature political debate looks like in action, and when we left City Hall, we met with the BBC Home Affairs reporter Nick Beake, who had been watching the Mayor's questions at BBC studios and wanted to hear what we had to say. We gathered together and answered the questions. He asked about what we had seen and then filmed some open discussion with him about politics in general.
The day had turned out to be an eventful and enjoyable one without doubt. However as fun as it may have been to see yourself on the news or talk about it with friends, we shouldn't overshadow the topic at hand. I personally arrived at City Hall that day with an extremely positive view of the Mayor, but certainly left with a more negative one. Knife crime is a massive issue, and we are all fully aware of the devastation it causes, and for the Mayor of our city to sit in front of us, and not be able to ensure with confidence that young people won't be racially profiled on the streets of London I believe was almost unbelievable. Sadiq Khan must make changes where he can, to tackle the issues surrounding our communities, but more importantly, should hold his hands up where appropriate and admit that work must still be done in certain areas. Instead, he cracked under the pressure and showed a level of immaturity we couldn't have comprehended.
Hannah Bohan (Student)
Photographs of the day can be found by clicking this link.