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LDS youth is 'outstanding prime minister'

Members of Parliament from both parties recently honored Mark Grant, 16, of the Nuneaton Ward, Coventry England Stake, at a special reception held at the House of Commons, Westminster, London.

There, Mark received the award as "the Most Outstanding Prime Minister" in the national 1993-94 Motorola Youth Parliament Competition. The event attracted entries from 130 schools. Each school was required to produce a video recording simulating a sitting of Parliament. This included the Speaker's Procession, a Prime Minister's Question Time session, and a full parliamentary debate. Mark, then a student at Higham Lane School, Nuneaton, took the part of prime minister and was delighted when his school's entry won the regional round, bringing the prize of a computer to the school.Though Higham Lane did not go on to win the national title, Mark was chosen as the best "Prime Minister." The competition was judged by a number of notable parliamentarians, including former Opposition Leader, the Rt. Hon. Neil Kinnock, MP, and the former Liberal Party leader, the Rt. Hon. David Steele, MP.

The prize-giving ceremony took place in House of Commons Dining Room A, where Mark was presented with his book prize by Rt. Hon. Tony Newton, MP, the Leader of the House, standing in for John Major, who had an official engagement in Scotland that day. Rt. Hon. Neil Kinnock, MP, made the presentation to the Most Outstanding Leader of the Opposition, while The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Betty Boothroyd made the presentation to her youth counterpart, with numerous other MPs looking on.

Beforehand, Mark had met and been photographed with Seb Cole, MP, on College Green. Mr. Cole is a 1,500-meter Olympic gold medalist and world record holder, and now a Conservative Party MP.

"The photographer from The Times took us over to the Churchill statue in Westminster Square for the pictures," said Mark.

Mark did an interview for the BBC 2 TV "Westminster Daily" program, which was aired nationally the following day. During the interview, he was asked what his priorities would be as Prime Minister. "To seek for a return to traditional family values which have been discarded," was his reply. "This has led to problems like rising crime."

Mark is the son of Bryan and Pat Grant. His father is the Church's director of public affairs in the Europe North Area, based in the Church offices at Solihull.

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