27 Nov Barnsley from the Backbenches
Earlier in November on Friday 10th, I had the privilege of attending the UK Youth Parliament’s Annual Debate in the House of Commons. This momentous event takes place every year, in the commons chamber and is usually broadcasted live on BBC Parliament channel. It is a great opportunity to showcase Youth Democracy at its best and to start a national conversation about Youth Policy. Members of Youth Parliament (such as myself, who have been democratically elected by their peers) gather from four nations of the United Kingdom to discuss what matters to their young constituents.
Along with roughly 300 other MYPs, I had the opportunity to represent the young people of Barnsley and to take part in the Parliamentary discussion. I was fortunate enough to contribute in the debate from the backbenches when I argued for lowering the voting age to 16 as I firmly believe that the way to achieve the things that the youth of Barnsley want is by bringing them into the political process in order to make politicians more accountable to young people.
After the debate, we heard from Education Secretary Justin Greening and Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom, who talked about the importance of Young people getting their voices heard and need for cross party cooperation in the national interest.
By the end of the session, we had a vote on the top two issues as our national campaign for next year. This time round, our colleagues chose to give votes at 16 another push and to campaign for a curriculum for life. Now, we must focus on turning these visions into reality by winning over hearts and minds.