On Friday 10 November 2017 Valerie Vaz MP addressed Members of the Youth Parliament in the House of Commons.

Valerie Vaz MP said:

“I was delighted to welcome Members of the Youth Parliament (MYPs) aged 11-18 to the House of Commons for the 18th annual sitting of the Youth Parliament. This year’s nationwide vote was one of the biggest youth consultations of its kind in UK history, with nearly 1 in 6 of all young people taking part.”

“The 5 topics chosen for debate in the House of Commons by nearly 1 million young people were: a curriculum to prepare us for life, votes at 16, work experience hubs for 11-18 year olds, protection of LGBT+ people, and transport.”

“The topics that were debated are very pertinent. It is the 5th time that MYPs have made a ‘curriculum to prepare us for life’ a priority. The Government needs to act now to address this reoccurring issue. MYPs debated political education in schools and votes at 16 exactly a week after the Conservatives blocked Labour’s Private Members’ Bill moved by Jim McMahon MP calling for political education to be taught in schools and for the voting age to be lowered.”

“More people are identifying as being either “gay or lesbian” or “bisexual” since records began, with 1 million identifying so in 2016. Sadly, a recent Stonewall survey found that 1 in 5 LGBT people have experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months. It is more important than ever to tackle homophobia and champion LGBT rights.”

“The result of the votes on topics that MYPs will campaign on next year were… [To insert result of vote].”

“I encourage MYPs to continue to lobby for the issues that they passionately debated. Young people deserve.