It was a privilege to meet with pupils from the local Springs Academy when they came to Parliament on Monday.
After they had visited the House of Commons and Lords, I had a chance to speak to the pupils about a range of political issues. It’s always uplifting to meet young people who are politically engaged and we enjoyed a robust debate about the decriminalisation of cannabis!
I was the youngest serving Labour MP when I was first elected to Parliament in 2015 and, at the time, felt that young people were under-represented in politics. Since then, I’ve spoken up on behalf of young carers and young workers who have been badly let down by the current government.
Young people have been especially hard hit by Tory austerity. Eight years of government cuts and economic stagnation have left many unable to get a decent education, a decent job, and a decent place to live. The disastrous economic effects of a Tory hard Brexit would hold back young people even more.
It’s important that our political system values the opinions of young people who, rather than being politically apathetic, are frequently angry about the social injustice they see around them.