Ellis summoned to Number 10

ELLIS Turrell, who has just completed two weeks work experience on the newsdesk at The Crow, met Prime Minister s wife Cherie Booth at 10 Downing Street. The visit was because his school, Melbourn Village College, had won an award in a national Youth Parl

ELLIS Turrell, who has just completed two weeks work experience on the newsdesk at The Crow, met Prime Minister's wife Cherie Booth at 10 Downing Street.

The visit was because his school, Melbourn Village College, had won an award in a national Youth Parliament Competition.

Ellis, 14, was joined by Jeremy Hughes and Elizabeth Quinlan, both 15, to collect the award for best press team.

He said: "We weren't expecting to win at all, especially as there were hundreds of other schools taking part."


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The competition involved schools setting up their own House of Commons with students taking the roles of Government and opposition members, backbench MP's and press officers.

They then carried out a Commons debate and made a short film on the mock Bill of their choice - reintroducing the death penalty.

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Ellis said: "The job of the press team was to contact local media centres and invite them to the college to take photographs and report on the competition.

"We also had to produce a booklet detailing who they had to contact and what other procedures they had to follow. It was hard, but we all really enjoyed it."

Deputy head Andrew Allsworth said: "It was a fantastic day and a reward for such hard work. They all worked really well together and produced a high quality project.

"This is reflected after their submission was judged to be the best out of 200 entries across the country.

"The examiners were extremely impressed with how the students carried out their press strategy and the school is extremely proud."

Andrew Lansley, the South Cambridgeshire MP and Shadow Health Secretary, visited Melbourn Village

College to help pupils with set preparation and to explain the workings of the House of Commons.

Writer and broadcaster Michael Brunson presented the awards at the ceremony held in the Cholmondeley Room at the House of Lords. MP Bridget Prentice, a junior minister at the Department of Constitutional Affairs, was also present.

After the ceremony, category winners were invited to Downing Street, where they met and talked to Cherie Booth.

Ellis said: "This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and a great chance to see the inside of our Government's nerve centre.

"We all enjoyed the trip immensely, especially visiting all these different places and meeting some important people. Cherie Booth was nice, although we didn't talk to her for long.

"The tour of Parliament was really interesting, but Number 10 was a lot smaller than we had thought.

"And when we were there they only offered us biscuits - that didn't matter though because we got a Burger King on the way home.

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