PARLIAMENT was re-created in Broughton CE Primary School when an MP gave pupils a crash-course on how Westminster debates are conducted.

Acting as speaker Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock held his enthusiastic audience, aged between seven and eleven years, captive as he explained some of the more unusual rituals associated with our parliamentary process.

Once the explanations were out of the way and the important task of appointing the prime minister and leader of the opposition were out of the way the debating began in earnest.

First off was the motion proposed by the government: “This house believes that SATS tests should be abolished.”

The youngsters appeared to start broadly in favour of the motion and some healthy debate followed.

After division was called and the clerks finished counting, much to the speaker’s amusement the ayes stood at 21 and the no’s also at 21.

Following with tradition and for those who don’t know, in this unusual occurrence the speaker has final say and will call for the motion not to be passed.

Pupils, now thoroughly engaged with the process and regularly calling out “hear hear” in support of the comments from their fellow honourable members, launched straight into the next debate.

This time the government proposed the motion: “This house believes that school uniforms should be abolished.”

Now really in the swing of things lively debate followed with excellent interventions from both the government and opposition sides of the house.

Unsurprisingly the motion was carried with 30 ayes and just 12 nos.

Speaking afterwards John Woodcock MP for Barrow and Furness, said: “This has been a fantastic session.

"The children were a joy to work with and a credit to the teaching staff here at Broughton, special thanks to head teacher Jacki Graham Kevan for arranging.

"The debating skills were spot on and they showed genuine interest with many students staying behind to ask question about what it’s really like to be an MP and work in Westminster.

“I look forward to welcoming some of you in the real House of Commons next year.”

For any schools who haven’t yet expressed an interested in hosting a mock parliament event of their own please ring 01229 431 204 for more information.