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Manchester High School for Girls


Lydia from Year 9 has had an extraordinary start to her Higher Project Qualification (HPQ) work as she got the opportunity to meet and interview well known individuals from politics and media.

She met with Tim Farron, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, at a Q&A event in Manchester, followed by a trip to London where she interviewed Cathy Newman, a presenter of the Channel 4 news programme.

Lydia said: “I am interested in religion and politics so for my HPQ this year I decided to include both topics and came up with a title question of Should Tim Farron, as a Christian, be leader of the Liberal Democrats?”

She explained: “I wanted to interview both Tim Farron and Cathy Newman, who did an interview with Tim after he was appointed leader. He told me how he felt when his faith was questioned and how he believes faith can coincide with politics, the same as it can with any other profession.”

Lydia then travelled over to London for her interview with Cathy and had an hour to talk with her about Tim Farron and her reflections on her interview with him. She added: “It was interesting to see what Cathy, as an atheist, thinks about the mix of religion and politics. I was also privileged enough to be invited to the ITN studios by Cathy to watch the news programme being aired.”

Lydia concluded: “The whole experience has been really exciting. I was able to go to the Channel 4 studio, gallery and news room. I was shown around by Jon Snow, who was very friendly. As a whole, my primary research has been a great experience, far more exhilarating than I expected and, with an interest in journalism, visiting the ITN studios and interviewing Tim and Cathy was really inspiring.”