UK Youth Parliament to debate in the House of Commons 11th November 2014

House of Commons Camapaign 2014

On Friday 14 November, Members of the UK Youth Parliament will commemorate those who gave their lives in the First World War, as well as debating a range of topical issues, including the need for improved mental health services and lowering the voting age. The Youth Parliament, sitting for its sixth year in the House of Commons Chamber, heralds the start of Parliament Week (14-20 November), a UK-wide programme of events and activities that inspire, engage and connect people with parliamentary democracy.

This year, a record number of 11-18 year olds – 876,488-   voted for their subjects to be debated by Members of the Youth Parliament (MYPs) in the House of Commons.

The debates will be streamed live on the Parliamentary website, and all schools across the UK have been encouraged to tune in to watch the debates which will broadcast from 11.10am. At the close of debates, MYPs will vote to decide which of the topics will become the focus of their national 2015 campaign.

Morning session
Watch from 11.10am (session concludes by 12.40pm)

  • World War 1 commemoration
  • The Living Wage
  • Exam resits in Maths and English


Afternoon session
Watch from 1.40pm

  • Better work experience and careers advice
  • Improving mental health services
  • Votes for 16 and 17 year olds in all public elections

UKYP are working in partnership with Sky News’ Stand Up and Be Counted initiative in the run up to the event. Stand Up and Be Counted is a dynamic digital platform created by Sky News that helps to amplify the voices of young people. The site – Stand Up Be Counted – is a place where 16-25 year olds can post videos, articles and comments on the issues that affect them and their friends and share them across multiple social media platforms. Their stories have become a core part of Sky News’ coverage to ensure the opinions and issues important to a younger generation are heard. MYPs will be uploading videos of themselves talking about the five topics up for discussion ahead of the House of Commons debate.

Over 300 MYPs from across the UK will participate in the debate and have been elected by their peers to represent them. MPs have also been invited to meet their local Youth Parliamentarians on the day to discuss these key issues.

The UKYP sitting will be presided over by theSpeaker Rt Hon. John Bercow MP, who said:
“The record number of ballots in the vote to select issues to be debated at the annual sitting of the Youth Parliament demonstrates that it is a showcase event for young people and the issues that matter to them. I am pleased that the House of Commons can offer the Chamber as a platform for young people to share their views.”

Rob Wilson, Minister for Civil Society said:
“We are committed to generating opportunities for young people to have their say.  UK Youth Parliament helps to engage young people across the country to discuss the issues that matter the most to them. This debate will enable young people to gain experience of speaking in the House of Commons and give them an opportunity to learn more about how Parliament works. I am looking forward to hearing the Youth Parliament debate on these topics.”

Ciara Brodie, a Member of the Youth Parliament from Liverpool who will be leading a debate on the day, said:
“Friday 14th November will be an incredible day, not only for those sitting in the chamber, but for young people across the country. This is the day when hundreds of Members of Youth Parliament will take to the green benches of the House of Commons and debate on the issues that are most important to us. These five issues have been decided by a nationwide ballot taken part in by over 865,000 11-18 year olds. This day will be symbolic, because young people often feel excluded from politics, and like their voices are neither acknowledged nor represented in Parliament. This sitting is an incredible opportunity to engage young people from across the UK in political debate, just months before a General Election. With educational reform a hot topic and 16 and 17 year olds voting in the Scottish Referendum, there has never been a more important time to listen to young people. It is one thing to be given a voice but hopefully, as a result of this debate, young people will also be listened to. This is our chance to make our mark in the heart of Westminster.”

The Youth Parliament is one of the key events of Parliament Week, a national awareness week supported by the House of Commons and the House of Lords.