Students from Hackney last week grappled with issues such as gender equality and modern day slavery in hard-hitting speeches delivered at Parliament.

Pupils from Bridge Academy prepared for months with poets, creatives and filmmakers as part of the ‘Speak Up’ project run by Hackney-based education charity Ministry of Stories.

The group enjoyed a full tour of the Houses of Parliament, watched the Speaker’s procession and observed the Commons in full swing from the public gallery.

Suitably inspired, the students then delivered their speeches to Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali and an audience of political experts.

Ministry of Stories director Lucy Macnab said the visit was “an opportunity for students to see that their thoughts and words matter in the real world”.

She added: “We are proud to partner with Parliament’s Education Service to give these young citizens a platform from which to be heard.”

Students will have another opportunity to visit Parliament in April as part of the charity’s ongoing programme.