Our F4 Politics students had the privilege of hearing from Lord King this afternoon on a variety of subjects including the role of the House of Lords, future challenges for politicians and, of course, Brexit.
Lord King became MP for Bridgwater in 1970 and was brought into the Cabinet by Margaret Thatcher in 1983. His posts included Northern Ireland Secretary and Defence Secretary. He left the House of Commons at the 2001 general election and was made a life peer as Baron King of Bridgwater.
Lord King explained how the House of Lords contains a wide range of experts on various subjects, from architecture to zoology, as well as former cabinet secretaries and the armed forces. It "has influence but not power" but, he believes, plays a vital role in UK politics and policy making.
Lord King does not advocate elected peers as he believes that this would change the balance of the House and raise the age of those in the role. He does, however, believe that 800 members is too high a figure and that there should be a higher percentage of women sitting in the House.
On the subject of Brexit, Lord King felt "gloomy" about the prospect and believed the referendum was a huge mistake as no one could have foreseen what the impact would be if we voted to leave. When asked what he thought the challenges would be for future politicians, he stated "terrorism, population explosion and water shortages in countries such as Yemen and Iran."
It was a fascinating talk and we are very grateful to Lord King for taking the time to visit the College. Our thanks also to Mr Bartlett for arranging this event.