Question time for panellists at St Albans Cathedral sixth form debate

PUBLISHED: 12:07 19 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:07 19 November 2017

Last year's Sixth Form debate at St Albans Cathedral [Picture: Emma Collins]

Last year's Sixth Form debate at St Albans Cathedral [Picture: Emma Collins]

Emma Collins

Hundreds of inquisitive sixth formers from across the region will be putting a panel of guests under the spotlight at a special ‘Question Time’ like debate.

St Albans Cathedral [Picture: Alan Davies] St Albans Cathedral [Picture: Alan Davies]

The nave of the historic St Albans Cathedral will host its 19th annual Sixth Form Debate on Thursday, November 23.

As in previous years, the ‘Speak Your Mind’ event will be based on the BBC’s Question Time and is designed to give students the opportunity to voice their opinions and share in a morning of debate.

With the panel set to include Bim Afolami, the Conservative MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, Daisy Cooper, who stood as the Liberal Democrat candidate for St Albans in the recent General Election, and journalist and author Peter Hitchens, the debate is sure to be lively.

Completing the varied line-up will be Shelby Loasby, president of the University of Hertfordshire Students’ Union, and for the first time at the annual sixth form debate, Rabbi Pete Tobias, from the Liberal Synagogue Elstree, and a Radio 2 contributor.

The day’s events will be chaired by BBC Three Counties Radio presenter Mike Naylor.

‘Speak Your Mind’ has been designed to allow those present to consider the topics they feel most strongly about.

Given the current climate, topics of debate are set to include tuition fees, immigration, US President Donald Trump, Brexit and the tensions in North Korea.

St Albans Cathedral education officer Steve Clarke said of these topics: “Even though questions are submitted in advance, the nature of these issues is that they are not fixed so we can allow the panel to be reactive to the most recent developments and news stories.”

There will also be opportunities for questions from the floor, so there could be a few surprises in store for the panellists on the day.

Over 400 pupils are expected to attend the free event.

The sixth form events at the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban are only possible with the support of the Hatfield-based University of Hertfordshire.

• For more forthcoming events taking place at St Albans Cathedral, visit

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