The leader of the House of Commons is used to fielding questions in Parliament, but MP Chris Grayling said a question and answer session at Northampton School for Boys was just as tough a test.
The former Justice secretary was taken on a tour of the Billing Road school, rated as the best in the county in a recent study, before hosting a question and answer session with politics students.
But Conservative MP Mr Grayling faced a hard quizzing from the group of 16 to 18-year-olds to rival his usual Thursday House of Commons session.
The teenagers asked him whether free market capitalism was dead, whether support for first-past-the-post voting should be scrapped and whether there were enough women in politics.
He was even asked whether he backed Boris Johnson, Theresa May, or George Osborne to become the next Tory leader in five years’ time.
Afterwards My Grayling said: “It’s unusual to find a classroom where the questions are as demanding, or even more demanding, than I would get from members of the opposition.”
One of the questions form the Northampton School for Boys politics students was particularly tough.
A student asked. “What are the relative strengths of George Osborne, Theresa May and Boris Johnson, and should one of them succeed David Cameron, which one would you choose?”
Mr Grayling replied: “The answer is they are all very able.
“Theresa May has been a good Home Secretary, George Osborne has been a good chancellor, Boris is Boris, but he has always been a very good mayor London, any of them could lead.”
But the Epsom and Ewell MP was impressed by the standard of the questions.
“It’s clearly a fantastic school,” he said.
“You can always tell when you walk into a classroom, what the ethos of the teaching is.
“When you couple that with excellent facilities, you can tell this is a great place to learn.”