Hilary Benn; another politician in the long line of the Benn Dynasty. He is most definitely his father’s son, although they are decidedly different in many ways. Whereas his Father was known as the firebrand of the Labour party, Hilary has been dubbed by critics as ‘the vicar of politics’ and has stated that he is most definitely “ A Benn, but not a Bennite.” He has been the MP for Notre Dame’s constituency Leeds Central since 1999 and is currently the Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
On his visit to Notre Dame on Thursday 2nd October 2014, we found him to be warm, welcoming and eager to answer our questions. He faced a grilling from the students on a range of subjects; including foreign policy, nuclear weapons and the housing crisis. He became empassioned when speaking about the ‘barbaric nature’ of ISIS.
Politics teacher, Dr Warnes said that: “We appreciated the warm, considerate yet challenging way in which he engaged with our students.”. One Lower Sixth student, Isabella Taylor added that “Mr Benn spoke passionately on a wide range of issues.”
Despite this, not everyone was impressed. One Upper Sixth student, Elijah Cockshaw, questioned Mr Benn’s decision to vote in favour of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Elijah thought that: “He was very good at avoiding questions, giving woolly answers and answering questions that weren’t asked.” In spite of recent criticisms, Mr Benn still stands by his decision to support the Iraq war.
In the future Notre Dame will be more than happy to welcome Hilary back again!