Westminster City Council has joined the UK Youth Parliament following a vote from its Youth Council. The decision to join the Youth Parliament means that the council’s current Youth MP, Hamza Taouzzale, 16, has become an official Member of Youth Parliament (MYP).
As an MYP, Hamza will join the UK Youth Parliament annual debate in the House of Commons on Friday 11 November. The debate will focus on five issues that have been chosen as manifesto priorities for the Youth Parliament and will culminate in a vote to choose the two priority campaign issues for the year ahead.
Hamza said: “Joining the UK Youth Parliament is one of the key highlights of my time as Youth MP. It has allowed me to go into the House of Commons and genuinely feel like we are shaping the national agenda for youth issues. 2017 will be very different for the next Youth MP, as being part of the UK Youth Parliament will change the work they do and the impact that they can have on a national scale. We have the chance to truly put Westminster on the map in terms of representing young people on the UK stage.”
The UK Youth Parliament’s sitting in the House of Commons marks the start of Parliament Week, an annual, UK-wide programme of events and activities designed to engage people with politics, Parliament and democracy.
Cllr Danny Chalkley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Westminster City Council said: “It is fantastic that our Youth MP is getting this unique experience of speaking and debating in the House of Commons. It has already been a busy and productive year for our Youth Council, and attending events such as this is one of the many ways our young people are helping to create fantastic opportunities for the young people of Westminster.”
The Westminster MYP is elected annually in February during the council’s Youth Elections. Any young person aged 11-18 can stand or vote, and over the past two years, almost 20,000 young people in Westminster have voted. The next election takes place in February 2017, and the council is currently calling for young people who may be interested in standing as the MYP for Westminster in 2017.