16 November 2018

Politicians and journalists swap seats to help free children from orphanages

Two veteran politicians took revenge on a pair of well-known journalists at our annual Swapping Seats fundraising event in London today.

First, the Conservative peer, Lord Hunt, was given the opportunity to grill the Sky News journalist, Kay Burley. Then senior Liberal Democrat peer, Lord Macdonald swapped seats with the former Political Editor of The Sunday Times,  Isabel Oakeshott.

The broadcaster and former Strictly Come Dancing star, John Sergeant, took the Chair to try to maintain order.   

The interrogations took place as an invited audience of new and existing supporters enjoyed lunch in the historic surroundings of the Gladstone Library on Whitehall.

David Hunt, who served as a cabinet minister in both Margaret Thatcher and John Major’s governments, asked Kay Burley whether, as a studio-based presenter, she was wrapped in a box, away from real life. She teased him for not having done his research, saying she’d travelled the world to cover stories from Hurricane Katrina in the United States to the Bataclan terrorist attack in Paris.

Then Ken Macdonald, former Director of Public Prosecutions, tackled the political journalist, Isabel Oakeshott. He asked about the allegations of scandalous behaviour by a young David Cameron in her unauthorised biography of the former Prime Minister. Ms. Oakeshott claimed she had been surprised by the amount of interest the story had attracted.

John Sergeant, as Chair, made sure the exchanges remained good natured and entertaining for the audience.

Welcoming guests to the event, Sarah Whiting, Director of Global Marketing, Communication and Fundraising at Hope and Homes for Children, explained how their support would help the 8 million children who are  confined to orphanages around the world today by giving them  the love and protection of famlies.

Our Patron, Claire Wright, spoke movingly about her recent visit to our work in South Africa where she saw for herself how vulnerable mothers are put under pressure to give up their babies to loveless orphanages.

Last year’s Swapping Seats event raised over £32,000 (net) to support the work of Hope and Homes for Children.

If you would like to help us eliminate orphanages and make sure all children can grow-up in families please donate here.