The Jewish teenager who questioned BNP leader Nick Griffin on the Holocaust during an edition of the BBC’s Question Time last year took centre stage again during the first party leaders’ televised debate.
Joel Weiner, the 17-year-old son of Masorti Rabbi Chaim Weiner and a pupil at JFS, asked the leaders a question about what prime minister Gordon Brown, Tory leader David Cameron and Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg would do about improving education.
The teenager said pupils were being over-examined, not enough money was being spent on schools and that in turn led to bigger class sizes.
One of the 76 rules of the debate specified the audience were supposed to come from within a radius of 30 miles of the host city, in this case Manchester. Rabbi Weiner said his son had responded when the programme makers asked for questions to be submitted.
Rabbi Weiner said: “I suppose there was a board or something that reviewed the questions to see which ones they wanted and they must really have wanted his.
“Joel has had a number of telephone conversations with them this week to get time off school. He was accompanied on the journey to Manchester but went into the studio on his own.
“I am very proud of him. He has great enthusiasm for politics and he wants to be a part of these things,” he added.
Joel sprang to fame during the edition of Question Time in October last year when BNP leader Nick Griffin was one of the panel. He challenged Mr Griffin about his history of Holocaust denial. Mr Griffin claimed he had changed his mind about it but European law prevented him from saying why.