Political teens want their say in parliament

Two St Wilfrid’s School pupils who hope to represent young people in the UK have explained what would make them good youth MPs.

Kieron Stephens, 13, and Shagass Pam, 15, hope to become members of the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) from March 2012.

Kieron, from Langley Green, would like to use his strong debating skills to promote more positive attitudes toward teenagers.

He said: “I’m good at debating but I’m reasonable so I won’t press my opinion too much.

“I’ve noticed people tend to think anyone aged 13 to 17 just mucks about and is rude and personally I would like to show people that teenagers aren’t like that.“

The Year eight student leader is keen to put forward his views on teacher-pupil relationships.

“I would like to change the relationship between teacher and pupil. Some of my close mates don’t tend to talk to the teachers much and often those that do ask more questions are more well informed.”

He added: “I know I’m probably a lot younger than quite a few of the other candidates but I don’t think that matters. I like to think age is just a number.”

Shagass, from Gossops Green, is already a deputy MP for the youth parliament and hopes to improve awareness of it.

He said: “There’s a new campaign where I’m trying to encourage more things to bring constituents into the projects so they understand about what we do.

“I would like people who run for the position of youth MP to go to youth centres, give more talks in schools, do things for charity in town and raise awareness of the charity campaigns the youth parliament are running.”

The young politician believes he is a strong candidate as he has been involved in school councils from a young age and he is a member of West Sussex Youth Cabinet.

He said: “I can be ruthless at times which will be useful to show people we are more than just a group of teenagers and we have important views.”