About MP6

MPs stands for Member of Parliaments 6 (one MP and six speakers) and is an initiative that started at Hamilton Community College in Leicester in 2011.  MP6 started out as a collaboration between Rt. Hon. Keith Vaz MP and citizenship teacher Sera Shortland with the aims of providing a platform for young people to address political issues to a wider audience, as well as an opportunity to engage their formal communication skills. Since 2011,  MP6 has grown, students from across city schools compete in an annual competition, judged by Keith Vaz and Professor of Communication Rosemary Sage. Both judges have been with MP6 from the start providing expertise and support to many young speakers.

Politics affects everyone.  MP6 aims to encourage and develop young people’s political literacy, helping them to understand how politics shapes our everyday lives. Through participation in the MP6 competition and encouraging discussion through online social networking, MP6 aims to increase motivation, skills and knowledge for young people to confidently engage in decision-making processes.

Effective communication is vitally important for success in all areas of life. Excellent communication skills will last a lifetime and learning the rules of formal debating and speech making will enhance your political message. Explore this site to find out handy tips and information about being an expert MP6 speaker.

The Judges:

Keith Vaz was first elected in June 1987 and has been re-elected as a Member of Parliament 6 times. He was the first person of Asian origin to sit in the House of Commons since 1922. He was Britain’s Minister for Europe under Tony Blair.

He now serves as the Chairman of the influential Home Affairs Committee, a Parliamentary committee that scrutinises the work of the Home Office. The portfolio of the committee includes policing, counter terrorism, immigration and the justice and home affairs agenda of the European Union.


Professor Rosemary Sage is a qualified speech and language therapist, psychologist and teacher with experience in health and education fields. For the past 20 years she has worked in higher education both in London and Leicester and was made Professor of Communication in Education at Liverpool Hope University in 2007. She is also long-standing Visiting Professor at the Women’s University, Nara, Japan and has been Visiting Professor at the University of Havana. She is also the UK lead on the EU Comenius Project on Transversal Skills in School Children.

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