On Wednesday 2nd October Stonyhurst welcomed Cabinet Minister, the Right Honourable Stephen Barclay MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. Stephen was born and lived for many years not too far away from Stonyhurst, in Lytham St. Annes. He is now Conservative MP for North East Cambridgeshire and was appointed to the Cabinet in November 2018. 

On his way back from Conservative party conference, Stephen gave generously of his time to speak with over 100 young people in the Top Refectory on his “Life in Politics”. He spoke about how he initially worked in the Law before entering Politics and about his journey over several years from Prospective Parliamentary Candidate to Cabinet Minister. Stephen shared his own experience of having to fight more than one election before successfully winning a parliamentary seat and he told pupils to be patient and tenacious in following their own aspirations.

Pupils with a wide range of views on Brexit were keen to put questions to Stephen in an interesting Q & A session. Stephen encouraged pupils with an interest in politics to consider getting involved. 

Before heading back to London for a number of face-to-face and telephone appointments with the Prime Minister and Senior EU officials, Stephen had afternoon tea with a group of sixth form pupils in the Stuart Parlour answering their questions on key aspects of the Brexit debate.

Stephen’s visit came on the day new proposals were presented to Brussels in respect of finding a mutually acceptable way for the UK to leave the EU. The Stonyhurst Community are tremendously grateful to him for visiting Stonyhurst at such a busy time in UK politics.