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George Parker and Tim Shipman speak to City journalism students

Financial Times and Sunday Times political editors join students during five-day course

by Amy Ripley (Senior Communications Officer)

The political editors of the Financial Times and Sunday Times, George Parker and Tim Shipman, were among the high-profile figures to speak to City students during an intensive five-day politics course.

MA Journalism students were also joined by Christopher Hope, Chief Political Correspondent of the Daily Telegraph; Katy Balls , Deputy Political Editor, The Spectator; and Paul Waugh, Executive Political Editor, HuffPost UK, as part of their Political Headlines module.

In addition to classes at City, students went on a day trip to Westminster – on the day of a historic no-confidence vote in the Prime Minister Theresa May - where they visited the Speaker’s residence to hear from the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP.

Several MPs including Agriculture Minister George Eustice MP, Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner MP, Kirsty Blackman MP, Nigel Evans MP and Steve Pound MP gave talks and answered questions from students.

The students were also treated to an illustrated talk by Stefan Rousseau, Chief Political Photographer from the Press Association and heard  how he captured the award winning photos of world leaders like President Obama, Theresa May, David Cameron and the Queen that have been syndicated round the globe.  Students also watched Prime Ministers Questions (PMQs) on this day of high drama, some overlooking the chamber of The Commons in the Speaker's gallery, some on a monitor in the highly ornate state rooms within the Speaker's apartment beneath Big Ben.

Photo credit: Stefan Rousseau, Press Association

Other guest speakers to visit the university or speak to students included Ben Page, Chief Executive, Ipos-Mori; Will Straw, who ran the Remain campaign; and Polly McKenzie, Chief Executive, Demos.

The Political Headlines course is a key part of the MA journalism programme. It is run twice a year by Barney Jones, the former editor of The Andrew Marr Show and now a visiting professor in the Department of Journalism at City.

Professor Jones said he was delighted by the response of the journalism students who appeared to be really engaged by the political drama and asked visiting speakers incisive and telling questions.

"I was also frankly surprised that of the 20 visiting speakers I had set up, 19 managed to stick to the commitment despite Westminster being in unprecedented meltdown," Professor Jones said.

"Speaker John Bercow may be in the dog-house with some government ministers right now, but setting aside half an hour to talk to us directly before taking PMQs and chairing the 'no-confidence' debate made him a popular figure with City journalism students".

See the pictures from the week

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