5 December, 2017
Gloucestershire MYPs Debate in House of Commons
On Friday 10th November, Gloucestershire MYPs, Harriet, Amira and Hanna, went down to Westminster for the annual UK Youth Parliament sitting at the House of Commons. We were there to debate the 5 issues that were voted for by young people in this year’s Make Your Mark ballot. We arrived in Westminster Hall in the morning and took the time to catch up with other MYPs from across the country that we hadn’t seen since Annual Sitting in July. Soon it was time to enter the chamber and get ready for the first debate of the day.
The Speaker of the Commons, John Bercow, was to chair the debates of the day and gave us a very warm welcome at the beginning of the morning session. The first three debates that took place in the morning session were on Protection for LGBT+ People, Votes at 16 and Work Experience Hubs for 11-18-year-olds. These debates were really well argued by the debate leads and MYPs from across the country, and we look forward to taking some ideas raised back to Gloucestershire.
After listening to the morning session MYP’s adjourned for a very well received lunch. MYP then convened again to discuss widening access to public transport and altering the national curriculum to better prepare students for life. The speakers of the afternoon were eloquent and presented well researched and though provoking arguments. Following the conclusion of these debates, MYP’s left to vote for the nationwide and devolved campaigns.
After counting, the final results were announced by John Bercow.
Transport gained 46 votes; work experience hubs for 11 to 18 year olds gained 64 votes; and a curriculum that prepares students for life gained 148 votes making this the Nationwide campaign for the next 12 months. The motion to protect LGBT+ people gained 80 votes; the motion to widen suffrage by granting Votes at 16 gained 167 votes, making this the England only campaign for the next 12 months.
After the debates and voting the House of Commons heard speeches on the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences act. An MYP from each region was chosen to speak on this topic. All the speeches given from the dispatch were moving, eloquent and inspirational.
Speeches were also given by MPs at several stages in the day and were lucky enough to hear speeches from Justine Greening MP and Valerie Vaz MP. Mr Bercow then concluded the day’s proceedings in a very characteristic manner.