Last week Barbara voted to support a motion to allow the UK Youth Parliament to use the House of Commons Chamber for a debate on one day each year during this Parliament.
After the debate went on late into the night, the motion to give the UK Youth Parliament access was voted through by Barbara and other MPs. A number of Conservative MPs had strongly opposed the motion.
In the debate, Barbara said the House of Commons should encourage young people to get more involved in politics. Barbara looked back at the UKYP debate in October 2009, which hade been a great success. Three hundred young people aged 11-18 years had participated in well-argued debates about issues such as lowering the voting age to 16, youth crime and university fees.
“I am proud that in March last year the Labour Government set a good example by putting forward a motion to allow the UK Youth Parliament to sit in the Chamber. It was a shame that this year so many Conservative MPs again opposed the motion giving the UK Youth Parliament access to the Chamber.
“Allowing members of the UK Youth Parliament to debate in the House of Commons Chamber sends out a strong message to young people that we value them and that we want to hear what they have to say. I look forward to hearing many lively debates of the UK Youth Parliament both this year and in the coming years.”
The UK Youth Parliament sitting in the House of Commons Chamber, October 2009