Edge Grove girl joins political spat

Year 7 pupil from Edge Grove school is invited to Westminster after commenting on MPs’ ‘˜name-calling’™ row

Stella Gardner, a Year 7 local pupil at Edge Grove Prep School in Hertfordshire, has made an example of Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent spat with Ed Miliband where both had been reported to be hurling insults at each other in Parliament. 

Stella, age 12 from London, had commented on a BBC news website (Newsround) in response to the story saying:

“It is poor behaviour because when people say, look up to and respect your elders, how can we do that if they are acting like five-year-olds by calling each other names?”

The outspoken comment provoked a direct response from the BBC Newsround team who subsequently invited Stella to participate in a discussion about the ‘dunce and muppet’ name-calling incident at Westminster the following day, and to meet and interview Speaker John Bercow in his private office. 

Stella arrived in London and met with Newsround’s presenter and camera crew and was then led through a tunnel to the Palace of Westminster for what was an action-packed day. Having conducted the interview with the Speaker, she watched him process into the House of Commons and was taken to his private gallery for PMQs.

Stella commented: “The whole thing happened very quickly. One minute I was typing on my computer and the next thing I knew, I was whisked off to London and was mingling with MPs in the House of Commons; it was intense!”

After interviewing a further two MPs, Stella also met and interviewed The Clerk of the House of Commons Sir Robert Rogers, who presented her with a signed copy of one of his books ‘Order, Order!’  This was followed by a private tour including the Chapel which is not open to the general public.  After a late lunch and some final filming, the news item was broadcast a few hours later the same day.

Ben Evans, headmaster at Edge Grove School, said: “We always encourage and nurture individual views and opinions amongst our pupils from reception and up. Everyone has a right to the freedom of speech and we are particularly proud of Stella for standing up and voicing hers.  It has been a great experience for her and a real insight into the complex world of politics.”

The Prime Minister David Cameron and the Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband had been hurling insults at each other in Parliament. Ed Miliband said that David Cameron was a ‘dunce’, while David Cameron called Ed Miliband a ‘muppet’.  Both men have said in the past that they want to put a stop to name calling in politics.


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