It was a great privilege for us to welcome The Rt Hon. the Lord Heseltine CH to School to give what was the first of the Downe House Senior Medley Lectures this academic year – an event that saw Lord Heseltine in relaxed conversation with Sixth Form Politics student, Susie, and our Head of History and Politics, Mr Will Lane.
Not surprisingly, we had a packed audience of students from across the Upper School and Sixth Form (Year 10 – Year 13) and guests from our parent, alumnae and staff communities, as well as friends and neighbours of the School. What ensued was a thoroughly enjoyable look back through some of the highlights of Lord Heseltine’s political career; having served as a Conservative MP from 1966 to 2001, notably as a prominent figure in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major.
It was a fascinating evening and Lord Heseltine was very open with his insights into life as a politician, as well as personal achievements and highlights, drawing parallels with the current political situation. In particular, he talked about his long-held desire to see a ‘levelling-up’ across the nations of the United Kingdom, and he gave a fascinating insight his support for the regeneration of Liverpool in the early 1980s when it was facing economic collapse, and how that experience changed him as a politician.
Lord Heseltine was incredibly generous with his time and there was no shortage of questions from the floor. These covered a diverse range of topics including the war in Ukraine, future government energy policy and the appeal of a career in politics to the young people of today, to the most impressive personalities that he has met and Brexit and a possible return to the EU.
The evening ended with the presentation of a sapling Oak on behalf of the School and as a token of thanks from all those who attended the event.
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