Nick Hurd MP praises UK Youth Parliament and hails young generation at Children & Young People Now Awards 3rd December 2013

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Nick Hurd MP, the Minister for Youth Policy at the Cabinet Office, spoke of his admiration for the young people of the UK in a speech at the Children & Young People Now Awards, held on Wednesday 2th November in London.

In a speech that also addressed the move of the youth portfolio from the Department for Education over to his department, he singled out the UK Youth Parliament for particular praise.

Speaking of his visit to the UKYP’s annual debate in the House of Commons on November 15th, Hurd said:

“The Youth Parliament – how could I forget? Amazing experience! Front bench, there I was in the packed House of Commons chamber, over 300 young people fighting to get the attention of the Speaker. He loved it. Fighting for the right to be heard, they gave us a master class in how to make your point with passion and conviction and succinctness. Deeply, deeply impressive.”

Hurd also spoke of his desire to get young people more engaged with the political process, saying:

“The number of people age 18 to 24 who intend to vote in the next election definitely is 12 per cent. If we carry on like this politics will be dominated by the priorities of old people and we cannot let that happen. So the voice of young people is very important. That’s why the Youth Parliament and youth councils are important.”

Speaking more generally about young people in the United Kingdom, he added:

“I stand in awe sometimes of what I am presented with and compare what I was at 16 to 17 and think, ‘wow… this is an incredible generation’. There are so many people out there who know how difficult and complex and challenging the environment they are growing up in is and want to help.”

The full transcript of his speech can be read here.