Jo, formerly the youngest MP, has welcomed the repeat of the historic use of the House of Commons Chamber for members of the UK Youth Parliament to debate issues of the day.
On Friday 29th October, young people from across the UK will take the floor of the House of Commons chamber to debate ways to address the issues that matter to their generation. These members of the UK Youth Parliament were elected in Youth Elections around the UK and range in age from 11 to 18 years old.
The UK Youth Parliament aims to get young people interested and participating in politics. Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Jo called for MPs to debate what more can done to get young people engaged in the political process.
Commenting, Jo said:
“UK Youth Parliament Day provides a fantastic opportunity for young people to experience what it feels like to debate the issues of the day from the green benches.
“While some MPs have fiercely opposed allowing the UK Youth Parliament to use the House of Commons chamber for their debate, I think it is only right that these impressive young parliamentarians use this space.
“The Scottish Youth Parliament is holding elections in March 2011, so if you’re aged between 14 and 25 then I’d strongly recommend getting involved – you can go to www.syp.org.uk to find out more.”
The text of Jo Swinson’s question to Leader of the House appears below.
Jo Swinson: The Leader of the House has given us the Business until Thursday 28 October. The day after that, Friday, 29 October, this House will be used for the second time for the UK Youth Parliament to hold a day of debate. I am sure that many hon. Members will be delighted to see that, as will I, as a trustee of that organisation. I wonder whether this would be an appropriate time for this House to debate the important issue of how we can get more young people better involved in the political process, as that is something that everybody wants.
Sir George Young: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for drawing attention to the fact that the Youth Parliament will sit in this Chamber on that date, and my hon. Friend the Deputy Leader of the House will be representing the Government. If the sitting is anything like last year’s, it will be a fantastic success. I agree with her on the importance of engaging young people in the political process. I think it would be worthwhile to have a debate, and she can either apply for one in Westminster Hall or catch the eye of the Chairman of the Backbench Business Committee at one of her Wednesday sittings.