A group of first and second-year PPE undergraduates along with their politics lecturer Dr Eloise Davies attended a lively discussion, in early June, with The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP (English, LMH) and Claire Coutinho MP (Maths and Philosophy, Exeter).
The Provost, hosted the event in his lodgings at Oriel. Lord Mendoza who is friends with both guests presented Michael Gove as, “probably the most experienced cabinet minister in modern times, having served in the Cabinet (almost) continuously since 2010.” Michael Gove is Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations.
Claire Coutinho is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing) at the Department for Education and MP for East Surrey. She also covers online safety and the recently enacted Freedom of Speech Bill. She was previously Permanent Private Secretary to PM, Rishi Sunak, when he was Chancellor.
The politicians covered the wide areas of their departmental briefs and the students asked searching questions on environmental policy, coal mining, freedom of speech, social care budgets and communications.
The MPs attended Evensong in chapel followed by dinner hosted by the Provost and Fellows at High Table.