Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon) (Lab): What steps he is taking to engage and involve more members of the public in the day-to-day business of Parliament. [903885]

The Deputy Leader of the House of Commons (Dr Thérèse Coffey): The Government are committed to promoting public awareness of Parliament. Much has been achieved in this area in recent years, and this important work must continue. The Government particularly welcome the new e-petitions site, which has increased public engagement with Parliament since it was set up in July. The site collected 7 million signatures in its first six months, and to date 135 petitions have received a Government response and 19 petitions have been debated in Westminster Hall.

Stephen Kinnock: I thank the hon. Lady for her response. One way in which we can ensure that more people engage in politics is by reaching them at a young age, and I therefore welcome the increase in school visits to this place under your speakership, Mr Speaker. What assessment has the Deputy Leader of the House made of the effectiveness of schools visiting Parliament and of the education centre in getting young people interested and involved in politics? In addition, has she given staff their bonuses for now having to try to explain the Government’s incomprehensible English votes for English laws process?

Dr Coffey: I visited the education centre for the first time earlier this week to speak to children from Sandlings primary school in my constituency. It is a really impressive facility and I am sure that Mr Speaker is rightly proud of it. The hon. Gentleman makes an interesting point about our effectiveness at getting children from around the United Kingdom to come here, and as a constituency MP I have written to the Administration Committee to ask it to look at the effectiveness of that programme.

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