WHAT do you think about becoming Britain’s first Asian Prime Minister? was just one of the questions faced by Culture Secretary Sajid Javid when he held a question-and-answer session with pupils from St Augustine’s School in Redditch.
Accompanying him was Karen Lumley, the Conservative candidate for Redditch, whose children attended the school.
The man battling to be re-elected as Bromsgrove MP smiled and dodged the issue – asked by student Amaan Zabir, but said if any party was going to have the first prime minister from an ethnic minority it would be the Conservatives.
“We had the first woman Prime Minister, the first person who was Jewish and I’m sure we will have the first person from an ethnic minority because our party is based on progress, we are a one nation party.” he said.
Other questions asked by pupils included what was being done to encourage greater involvement in sport by the disabled, the issue of tuition fees, investment in the arts and about keeping the voting age at 18.
He said “I think 18 is the age when you reach adulthood, and you should all vote, people have fought and died to win the vote and you should remember that.” he said.
He was also quizzed on first speech nerves, the NHS and membership of the EU, declaring that only a referendum of the British people could decide on that.
Overall, the students, aged 13 to 18, gave the Culture Secretary the thumbs up.
“He answered all the questions really well.” said Owen Smith, while Thomas Stanton felt he was ‘really direct and concise, and his answers were straight to the point.”
Only Amber Dewstow disagreed, saying teenagers were mature enough to vote at 16 and she felt the secretary of state was pitching his answers purely to agree with what younger people wanted to hear.