House of Commons Debate

How does it work?

Members of Youth Parliament aged 11-18 take part in an annual debate in the House of Commons chamber, chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons Rt Hon John Bercow MP. They debate five issues chosen by a ballot of young people from across the UK and then vote to decide which two issues should become the UK Youth Parliament’s priority campaigns for the year ahead.

2019

Members of Youth Parliament will sit in the House of Commons for the eleventh time in November 2019.

I’m a journalist how can I find out more? 

Call our press office on 0207 250 8376 and we’ll happily talk through the details. Alternatively, drop us an email press@byc.org.uk and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

 

Past debates

2018

On Friday 9th November 2018, Members of the UK Youth Parliament gathered from across the UK to debate in the House of Commons chamber. Ending knife crime, mental health, ‘equal pay, for equal work’, tackling homelessness and ‘votes at 16’ were all topics of debate. Each topic was chosen in a record-breaking ballot of more than 1.1 million young people. At the end of the day, they marked the Representation of the People Act 1918 which granted the vote to some women and all men.

Want to catch up on what happened? 

Find out more about what happened.

2017

Following a unanimous vote by Members of Parliament which enabled Members of Youth Parliament to debate in the Commons chamber for the rest of this Parliament, UK Youth Parliament held its House of Commons debate on Friday 10th November 2017. During the sitting, they debated the five issues chosen by annual Make Your Mark ballot, which saw 954,766 young people take part.  In addition, they marked the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality with a special debate in the afternoon.

Download the official Hansard Report.

Yes, we were diverse. 

Not only were these young people from all areas of the country, they also widely represented the changing face of modern Britain. 52% of the Members of the Youth Parliament are female, whereas only 29% of MPs are women.

Further, 32% of MYPs are from a Black and Minority Ethnic background. This is in comparison to 8% of MPs – and 7.9% of the British population.

Find out more about what happened.

 

2016

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Members of the UK Youth Parliament aged 11-18 sat in the House of Commons once again, on Friday 11th November 2016, to debate the five issues chosen by annual Make Your Mark ballot. The event coincided with, Armistice Day, marking 98 years since the Armistice which took place during the First World War.

In the absence of the Prime Minister, Theresa May, Lawand Omar, Member of Youth Parliament for Ealing read out a statement from the Prime Minister. Chirs Skidmore, Minister for Constitution was unable to attend the Sitting and submitted a statement in support.

Download the official Hansard Report.

 

Find out more about what happened.

2015

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279 Members of the UK Youth Parliament aged 11-18 took part in the House of Commons debate on Friday 13th November 2015. They debated the five issues chosen by annual Make Your Mark ballot, which saw a record-breaking 969,000 young people cast their vote. You can find a copy of the full Hansard report here.

Find out more about what happened.

 

2014

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285 Members of the UK Youth Parliament aged 11-18 took part in the House of Commons debated five issues chosen by annual Make Your Mark ballot, which saw over 875,000 votes.

Find out more about what happened.

2013

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During the sitting’s fifth anniversary, 296 Members of Youth Parliament aged 11-18 took part in the House of Commons debates, the subjects for which were voted for by 478,632 young people across the UK in the annual Make Your Mark ballot.

Find out more about what happened.

2012

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A total of 325 Members of Youth Parliament aged 11-18 took part in the House of Commons debates, the subjects for which were voted for by over 250,000 young people across the UK in the annual Make Your Mark ballot.

Find out more about what happened.

2011

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During the third House of Commons debate, 307 Members of Youth Parliament aged 11-18 took part in the , the subjects for which were voted for by over 65,000 young people across the UK in the annual Make Your Mark ballot.

Find out more about what happened.

2010

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In 2010 a debate was held by Members of Parliament in the House of Commons to discuss the possibility of the youth parliament returning for a second sitting. This resulted in the decision to allow their return not only for that year but every year for the remainder of the sitting of the current parliament.

On Friday 29th October 2010, Members of Youth Parliament aged 11-18 debated five topics in the chamber. The topics for debate were selected from an online public ballot.

2009

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In 2007 Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, suggested that members of the UK Youth Parliament could have annual access to the House of Commons chamber but this did not come about until March 2009, when a motion was passed to allow the UK Youth Parliament to use the House of Commons for that year’s annual meeting. However, one Member of Parliament objected, which forced a vote to be taken on the issue, also employing a procedure called “I spy strangers” (historically used to expel disruptive spectators, but now mostly to disrupt the House’s business) to take business in the House beyond 7:00pm and stifle any possible debate on the issue. On 12 March 2008, a second debate was held in the House of Commons with a vote set to be taken four days later. On 16 March 2009, 189 Members of Parliament voted to allow the UK Youth Parliament to debate in the House of Commons, with 16 votes of opposition by Conservative backbenchers.

On Friday 30 October 2009, Members of Youth Parliament debated in the House of Commons chamber for the first time in history, becoming the first and only group to ever debate within the chamber other than Members of Parliament.