Thursday, February 17, 2005

On Tuesday 8th February LDYS held its annual Westminster Day event, which saw over 1500 young people descend on the Royal Festival Hall to debate with politicians from all political parties.
The morning saw introductory speeches from Anne Campbell MP, Simon Hughes MP and David Cameron MP. After the speakers had finished making their speeches the audience had the opportunity to question the speakers. Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to listen to any of the speeches as the event organiser I was busy making sure everything else was going well.
The afternoon started off with the launch of Hansard Society’s ‘Y Vote’ campaign and its extremely useful school mock election packs. This was followed by debates on education, human rights, the environment, young people in politics and women in politics. Despite some invitees being called away by an important commons debate on Belmarsh prison, speakers at these debates included David Rendel MP, Tim Collins MP, John Gummer MP, Norman Baker MP and Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty.
All three parties youth wings had recruitment stands at the event, along with the Electoral Commission, Local Government Association and Y Care International.
The clear message from the day was that young people are very interested in politics; it’s just the political parties they find less easy to engage with.

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