THE campaigns have been waged (see above, one candidate brought a kitten into the Town Hall chamber to make his case), the votes have been cast and tomorrow’s Camden’s new Youth MP will be announced. It’s a bigger thing than you might imagine, and the council are determined that the process is not taken lightly with the winner of the poll heading to the UK Youth Parliament. The outgoing MP Hannah Morris (pictured right) has in fact twice spoken in the House of Commons as part of the role since her election two years ago; not a bad way to get our younger residents engaged in politics.
The great shakes are a little different to how things have unfolded in neighbouring Westminster, however, where 16-year-old Hamza Taouzzale won the Youth MP ballot last month – a not to be at sniffed at 7,000 teenagers took the trouble to vote – only to be told he will not be following Hannah to parliament’s green benches.
No can do, says the council, as there “is a cost involved”. So, while other youth MPs head off for the experience of their life, Hamza (pictured right) will be staying at home.
A Westminster council spokesman told the West End Extra: “The Youth Parliament, for which there is a cost to be involved, is focused mainly on national campaigns rather than decisions and issues at a city level for Westminster. We calculate that the costs involved in being fully part of the Youth Parliament would outweigh the benefits to the young people, particularly as Westminster City Council already has strong links with national parliament.”