Ex-MI5 chief on panel at St Albans Cathedral sixth form conference

Cathedral Sixth Form Conference

Cathedral Sixth Form Conference - Credit: Archant

A panel which included the former director general of MI5, Sir Stephen Lander, put themselves in the hot seat at an annual sixth form conference held at St Albans Cathedral last week.

Over 500 students from local schools and colleges in Herts took part in the conference which is based on the BBC TV programme Question Time and held in the cathedral nave. The guest panel also included David Lidington MP, Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Nick Raynsford MP, the Rt Rev Dr Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, Camilla Tominey, royal editor at the Sunday Express, and Stuart Winter, environment editor at the same paper.

Among the questions put to the panel were global political issues such as the decision against intervention in Syria and controversial topics such as the banning of the Islamic veil and the Home Office’s recent campaign against illegal immigrants.

Students also had an opportunity to discuss the increase in tuition fees and the use of unpaid internships which raised some important points about their future lives.

Conservative MP Mr Lidington urged the student audience to, “grab [the] responsibility…to change society” and not to be “passive spectators”.