SPEAKER of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, has told participants at MP Debbie Abrahams virtual summer school how he has spent years campaigning to encourage them into politics.
Sir Lindsay was appearing as a guest speaker on the Oldham East and Saddleworth MP’s seventh annual ‘Working for your community summer school’.
He told the 18 to 24-year-old participants via video call how he was once the youngest councillor on Chorley Council and is determined to bring younger voices into politics.
He said: “I was the youngest ever councillor to be elected on Chorley Borough Council. I was elected at 22.
“What got me interested in politics was, when I looked at the council, there were too many older people, and you might say ‘look at him now’, but, believe it or not I was once young.
“I wanted to put a younger voice into politics and I went on to the council and then, when the general election came in 1997, I took the seat off the Conservative MP who’d been there 18 years.
“Now what really worried me about politics was I’d been on that council for 17 years and I was still one of the youngest councillors.
“I went out to recruit a lot of young people and my record of being the youngest ever councillor was broken in 1999 where we got the first ever elected 19-year-old, and since then we’ve had three 19-year-olds elected.”
Summing up in his session Mr Speaker concluded: “Young people matter to me whatever age group. Wherever you come from, you matter.”
Commenting after Sir Lindsay’s session, Mrs Abrahams said: “I was delighted Lindsay took time out from chairing proceedings in the House to speak to our young people.
“As he says, their voice matters and our participants were really inspired by his words.”