Politics students got the opportunity to quiz Britain’s second most powerful man today.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg paid a visit to Hornsey School for Girls in Inderwick Road, Hornsey as part of an event to celebrate the forthcoming International Women’s Day.

The Liberal Democrat leader listened to a performance about issues surrounding female genital mutilation and then had a question and answer session about women taking up non-traditional careers and women in politics.

He was accompanied on the visit by MP for Hornsey and Wood Green Lynne Featherstone who has been a consistent campaigner on the issue of FGM.

When discussing the practice Mr Clegg said: “There is no cultural or religious excuse for FGM.

“We need to change the law and our approach to deal with it, we have made progress but there is still much work to do to safeguard young women.”

Ms Featherstone added: “It is vitally important that reporting of concerns about FGM is a mandatory requirement for schools to help combat the problem.”

He said he was impressed by the questions put to him from Year 11 politics students.

Asked about the problems facing traditional political parties Mr Clegg admitted that the Lib Dems are “too male and pale” but he added: “We are giving as much support as possible to people from diverse backgrounds to become candidates for the Liberal Democrats.”

When quizzed about the nature of parliamentary politics and the need for reform he said: “I would scrap Prime Minister’s Questions, it is ridiculous.

“Parliament is not only a ludicrous pantomime place it is also stuffed full of people who do not represent modern Britain. That has to change.”

The Deputy Prime Minister was impressed with the young students he met and said he saw “several” potential prime ministers among the students.

He added that he hopes to encourage more young women into politics. 

He said: "The students here are brilliant, articulate, smart, sassy, funny, well informed and creative I was really very impressed.

“Above all I just love to see these young women getting involved in politics because it’s their future and their country and I want them to shape their own country.”