“Was I up for Portillo? Well, funny you should mention that...”

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Budding young politicians quizzed two Labour hopefuls at an event hosted by Denbigh School on Wednesday.

Sixth-formers who are part of the school’s political society quizzed Andrew Pakes, Labour’s prospective parlaiemtnary candidate for Milton Keynes South, and Labour shadow minister Stephen Twigg.

And Mr Twigg, who famously defeated Michael Portillo in 1997, also spoke to the Citizen about why it is important for young people to get involved in politics.

He said: “This is going to be the first election for a lot of the young people here today, and they will know that a lot of decisions have been taken over the last five years which have impacted on their lives.

“I want them to be part of that, by having their say, not just by voting but by being part of politics.”

Despite being

People still come up to me and remember me as ‘The guy who beat Michael Portillo in 1997’

Stephen Twigg, on THAT iconic moment 18 years ago

He added: “When I was a student politics was all about changing the world - it was 1982, Mrs Thatcher was Prime Minister, and there were all these cuts being made to education.

“There were lots of issues I felt passionately about, and although the world has changed I still feel passionately about the same values and beliefs.

“People still come up to me and remember me as ‘The guy who beat Michael Portillo in 1997’. Even if they don’t remember my name or anything else, they remember that, it was just one of those moments in politics.

“Who will be the Portillo moment at this election? Well Nicky Morgan was a very modest majority in Loughborough, and there is Esther McVee who is a DWP minister. But a lot of people will be watching what happens to Nick Clegg in Sheffield, that could be the Portillo moment.”