Valerie welcomes members of the Youth Parliament

On Friday 10 November 2017 Valerie Vaz MP addressed Members of the Youth Parliament sitting for the 9th time in the House of Commons.

Valerie Vaz MP said:

“I was delighted to welcome Members of the Youth Parliament (MYPs) aged 11-18 for the 18th annual sitting of the Youth Parliament and the 9th year they have sat in the House of Commons. 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 ‘votes at 16’ debate brilliantly described the cold, town hall discussion that led to a private Member’s Bill. Jim McMahon MP was not successful in calling for the voting age to be lowered to 16. I attended the debate and it was effectively talked out.”

“The debate on the protection of LGBT+ rights was one of the most moving. MYPs told us that everyone must be respected and reminded us that when we walk in someone else’s shoes or put on someone else’s skin we can see what discrimination really is like. That is why we must strive for true equality.”

“The result of the votes on topics that MYPs will campaign on next year were a ‘curriculum to prepare us for life’ and ‘votes at 16’. It is the fifth time that MYPs have made a ‘curriculum to prepare us for life’ a priority. I called on the Secretary of State for Education and the Government to bring forward their planned timetable of putting a curriculum to prepare young people for life and relationships and sex education on a statutory footing in September 2019. This is a good example of the UK Youth Parliament influencing policy and Parliamentary debates.”

“The voices of the MYPs rang out from the Chamber and beyond through live-streaming and our Official Report. Each MYP was brilliantly prepared and offered wonderful contributions to the debates. The MYPs showed us great hope for the future.”

“Members of Parliament can learn from the MYPs, because all voices on all sides of the argument have been heard, and they were heard with respect. That is so important for our democracy, and I hope we can work together both inside and outside Parliament to ensure our democracy remains strong.”

Further Information:

• Picture of Valerie Vaz MP in the House of Commons on Friday 10 November 2017 (attached).

• Further information on the UK Youth Parliament can be found here:

• Hansard of debate on ‘Representation of the People (Young People’s Enfranchisement and Education) Bill’ on 3 November 2017:

• The results of the vote was:

o Transport: 46 votes
o A curriculum to prepare us for life: 148 votes
o Work experience hubs for 11-18 year olds: 64 votes
o Protection of LGBT+ people: 80 votes
o Votes at 16: 167 votes