Voting opens for Portsmouth’s next member of youth parliament

The search for Portsmouth’s next youth parliament member continues, with seven young people still in the running ahead of elections due to take place between 8 and 17 March.

More than 52 candidates from across the city put themselves forward for consideration following a campaign launched by Portsmouth City Council and youth advocacy specialists Unloc in January, which was bolstered by support from city MPs Stephen Morgan and Penny Mordaunt.

The seven shortlisted candidates are aged between 11 and 17 years old, and are committed to using their elected voice to bring about social change. The member of youth parliament is a coveted role that will influence key decisions that affect children and young people in Portsmouth.

Councillor Suzy Horton, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council said “Since launching the search for the city’s next member of youth parliament, we have had the difficult job of shortlisting so many worthy candidates. The response was beyond our expectations.

“This young person will support key decisions made that impact the day to day lives of young people in the city. It’s a fantastic opportunity for those interested in politics to work alongside councillors and influence decisions at Portsmouth City Council.”

The campaign to find the city’s next member of youth parliament has cross-party backing across the council, as well as the support from local MPs.

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South said “We’ve had such an amazing response in our search to find the city’s next member of youth parliament. This is a unique chance for someone to step up and make an impact in their community.”

Young people aged 11-18 years old, who live, work or study in Portsmouth, will be able to cast their vote securely online from Monday 8 March. The shortlisted candidates have recorded videos and prepared manifestos to explain what they will focus on as part of their role as member of youth parliament.

Penny Mordaunt, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth North said “I’m pleased to see so many young people get involved with politics locally. As we move forward out of the pandemic, the member of youth parliament will help shape our recovery as a city, ensuring no voice goes unheard.”

UK Youth Parliament provides opportunities for 11-18 year olds. All members of youth parliament meet nationally twice a year at the UK Youth Parliament Annual Sitting and UK Youth Parliament House of Commons Sitting.

Voting closes on Wednesday 17 March with the results announced on Friday 19 March. For more information on the candidates and how to vote, visit portsmoutheducationpartnership.co.uk/myp.

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