POLITICS students from Galashiels Academy enjoyed a trip to Parliament this week.

A total of 26 pupils studying social subjects at the school made the journey south for a tour of the Westminster seat of government, as well as getting the opportunity to quiz local MP John Lamont.

Westminster offers a variety of tours to schools from across the country, as well as offering workshops on law making, debating and voting.

Mr Lamont welcomed the pupils at the House of Commons, taking questions from them about Parliament and his career in politics.

It was an experience that Mr Lamont hopes other people will replicate, saying that Westminster shouldn’t feel inaccessible to Borderers.

He said: “It was great to welcome pupils and staff from Galashiels Academy to Westminster.

"I hope it was an interesting and rewarding experience to see for themselves how the UK Parliament works.

“Because of our location, many Borderers have visited the Scottish Parliament and some have a feeling that Westminster is somehow less accessible.

"I’d encourage anyone with an interest to try to make a trip down to see how Scotland’s other Parliament works.

"While it may look imposing from the outside, Westminster is open to visitors all year round Monday to Saturday to attend debates, committee hearings or take a tour.

“It’s particularly worthwhile for schools, with a huge amount to see and do in Westminster.”

Anyone visiting Parliament from the Scottish Borders can apply for a contribution of 75 per cent of travel costs.

Mr Scott, a social subjects teacher at the academy, believes the visit was a huge benefit to the pupils ahead of their upcoming Modern Studies exams.

He added: “We have a large number of students who are interested in politics so visiting Westminster and meeting with John was a superb opportunity for them to learn more about the role of an MP.

“It also provided pupils with a great platform to ask questions and discuss issues that they have been looking at as part of their higher modern studies course and allowed some pupils to think about work experience opportunities alongside parliamentary representatives or even at Westminster itself.”

Fifth year pupil Jack Gammie added: “Meeting with John was a great experience as it allowed me to get an insight into the daily tasks of an MP and how he represents his constituents both in Parliament and in his constituency.”