UK Youth Parliament to debate top issues for young people in Commons chamber. 10th November 2016


  • Over 250 Members of Youth Parliament to debate in the House of Commons chamber on Friday 11th November 2016.
  • Debates will cover education, racism and religious discrimination, public transport, votes at 16 and the health service, following a nationwide ballot of 978,216 young people.


On Friday 11th November, Members of Youth Parliament will debate a range of topical issues, including the need for a ‘curriculum for life’ and tackling racial and religious discrimination. In addition,  they will hold a short debate to reflect on current political affairs and their ideas for a ‘better, kinder democracy.’  Over 250 Members of Youth Parliament from across the United Kingdom will participate in the debate and have been elected by their peers to represent them. Members of Parliament have also been invited to meet their local Youth Parliamentarians on the day to discuss these key issues

The UK Youth Parliament’s sitting will mark the eighth year that Members of Youth Parliament have debated on the green benches of the House of Commons. The sitting heralds the start of UK Parliament Week (14-20 November), an annual festival of events intended to connect communities across the UK with their democracy. This year’s Make Your Mark ballot to decide the topics of the Youth Parliament’s debate in the House of Commons, received a record number of ballots, reaching 978,216 young people. This cemented Make Your Mark as the biggest youth consultation of its kind in UK history, with almost two million young people aged 11-18 taking part in the last two years.

Schools across the UK have been encouraged to tune in to watch the debates which will be streamed live on and broadcast on BBC Parliament from 11.15am. At the close of debates, Members of Youth Parliament will vote to decide which of the topics will become the focus of their 2017 national campaigns.

Morning session  11.10am -12.40pm

  • We must stop cuts that affect the NHS
  • Votes for 16 and 17-year-olds in all public elections
  • Make public transport cheaper, better and accessible for all

Afternoon session  1.40pm- 4.10pm

  • Tackling racism and religious discrimination, particularly against people who are of Muslim or Jewish faith
  • A curriculum to prepare us for life
  • ‘A better, kinder democracy’

For the first time, the annual sitting of the Youth Parliament coincides with Armistice Day, and so the session will begin with a two-minute silence at 11:00am.

Speaker Rt Hon. John Bercow MP, who will preside over the sitting for the seventh time, said: “I am delighted to welcome the Youth Parliament to their annual sitting. It is always encouraging to see young people debating issues so passionately in the House of Commons and participating in our democracy. Almost a million young people, from across the UK, voted for the motions before us on the Order Paper today, and I am pleased that they are making their voices heard and engaging with the parliamentary process.”

Members of Youth Parliament will also be joined by David Lidington MP, Leader of the House, and Valerie Vaz MP, Shadow Leader of the House, who will both speak from the despatch box in recognition of the UK Youth Parliament as the only external group permitted to use the House of Commons chamber.

David Lidington MP, Leader of the House of Commons, said:
“The UK Youth Parliament is an opportunity for Westminster to hear young people raising the issues they care about most. Both MPs in Parliament and ministers in Whitehall will be listening to what MYPs have to say.”

Valerie Vaz MP, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, said:
“Nearly a million young people voted to decide the topics that their Members of the Youth Parliament are debating, which range from public services to promoting democracy and fighting discrimination. These are very pertinent at this time, and I look forward to the debate which I am sure will be of the usual very high standard.”

Connor Hill, Member of Youth Parliament for Dudley said:
“We as a Youth Parliament are proud to represent young people across the UK and the House of Commons is the perfect place to do just that. We have once again carried out the largest youth consultation in the UK. The number of young people taking part in Make Your Mark this year has reached the phenomenal heights of over 978,000 ballots. The opportunity to debate issues that young people have voted on in such a hollow chamber is a once in a lifetime opportunity and every single MYP is honoured to be able to do so to represent their area.”

Find out more about UK Youth Parliament’s House of Commons Sitting