Blackpool North & Cleveleys is being failed by Tory MP Paul Maynard. He has got to go

I am no stranger to Blackpool. When my family first visited the resort in the late 1980s, I fell in love with it. I was born and raised in Essex and the only seaside resorts I had visited were Southend-on-Sea and Clacton-on-Sea. Blackpool, however, was different and I fell in love with it from the moment we arrived.

One of the things that first caught my eye was Blackpool Tower, a giant of beauty. I also remember the arcades – Coral Island, Mr B’s and Funland stick in my mind. The three piers were a far cry to the long pier in Southend-on-Sea, and the golden beaches were absolutely stunning. But my best memory were the illuminations, Blackpool was transformed to a masterpiece.

Over the years I have had some brilliant times in Blackpool, from family holidays to wild weekends with friends; romantic times and emotional times. But in September 2017, I made the decision to quit Essex for a new life in Blackpool – and I do not regret it.

I live in a nice flat in close proximity to Blackpool North Station, the shops and the promenade. It literally takes me 10 minutes to drive to work. The location is perfect for me and I also have a good view of Blackpool Tower. I took a pay cut to move to Blackpool, but my rent is reasonable and the lower cost of living compensates for my pay cut.

I consider myself to be very lucky to have a steady job with office hours in Blackpool, jobs like these are hard to come by here. A lot of the local employment is seasonal, but retail and the tourist industry is a lifeline for many local residents.

When I lived in Essex, I thought life was tough, but what I have experienced in Blackpool has made me see things from a different perspective. Take it from me, the north-south divide really does exist.

Parts of Blackpool North are in a shocking state. Filthy streets full of litter and dog’s excrement, cracked roads and pavements and houses that look rundown and dilapidated. The promenade and backstreets are full of boarded up hotels and guest houses that have gone out of business, and seeing these buildings and the state of the streets is not a pleasant sight for tourists and visitors.

Despite the dozens and dozens of empty properties in Blackpool North, the area has a huge problem with homelessness and begging. People are sleeping in shop doorways and on benches – and nothing is being done to help them. They are of all ages, from people in their late teens to their late 70s. It is shocking and heartbreaking to see.

On Saturday, I saw a homeless man sitting in a doorway on Dickson Road. It was a cold, drizzly morning and I felt really sorry for him. His clothes were dirty and torn. He told me he was cold and hungry and asked if I could spare him any change. I did more than that.

I decided to buy him a cup of tea and a toastie. I also gave him my jacket as he was shivering. He looked at me and started crying and said “You are my hero. I never expected this, I never expected you to be nice to me. Most people just ignore me.” I gave him a hug.

After a brief chat with him I headed off to do my shopping, but spent the rest of the day thinking about him. But as I walked around the shops I saw other homeless people and beggars. In fact, I saw a total of 9 homeless people. Absolutely shocking and heartbreaking that homelessness in Blackpool is simply being ignored. These are people with feelings but have been failed by our Tory government that proudly boasts about the economy – an economy that only benefits the rich and the elite.

I personally blame our Tory MP Paul Maynard who is failing Blackpool North and Cleveleys. He is doing absolutely nothing to clean up the resort including the filthy streets. He is doing nothing to get investment in the resort which would prevent hotels, guest houses and other businesses being boarded up because they have been failed by the economy. He is doing nothing to help restore the council properties that are becoming dilapidated and falling into disrepair. And he is doing nothing to help the homeless.

In fact, the social problems affecting Blackpool North & Cleveleys are a direct result of Paul Maynard voting to impose austerity on his constituents and cutting the council budget. He also voted to cut the police budget but then complained when Bispham Police Station was earmarked for closure. You really could not make it up.

When I raised these issues with Paul Maynard on social media, this was the response I got:

He was equally as ignorant when a local nurse questioned him on Facebook asking why he voted against giving nurses a pay rise:

Paul Maynard simply does not care. As an MP he is rude and ignorant, he blocks his constituents on social media when they challenge him and he continues voting for Tory policies that are hurting Blackpool North & Cleveleys. He is completely out of touch with his constituents and is unfit to be in politics. His dismissive attitude is a typical Tory attitude, one that says more about him than it does people like me holding him to account.

Blackpool as a resort has so much to offer and I have a few suggestions.

1. The Government should consider Jeremy Corbyn’s policy whereby it purchases empty properties and renovates them. They should then be rented out at affordable rate – this would help tackle homelessness in Blackpool and also ease council accommodation waiting lists for local people.

2. Investment: For example, Blackpool could do with a casino, it would create jobs, boost tourism and the local economy.

3. Extend the illuminations. The illuminations attract tens of thousands of visitors to every year, yet as soon as they are switched off in early November the resort turns into a ghost town. The illuminations are now run on LED lights which are way cheaper – if the illuminations were extended until 31 December it would encourage more tourists to Blackpool, boost the local economy and the hotel industry. The extra revenue raised would help pay for the cost of the illuminations. I also propose that the illuminations are accompanied by a fireworks display on New Year’s Eve, giving revellers the opportunity to welcome the New Year in style.

4. More events throughout the year including live music and celebrity appearances. We have the darts tournament at the Winter Gardens and Strictly at the Tower Ballroom, and they always attract a huge gathering.

5. More skilled work. Blackpool would be an ideal location for industry as part of a northern hub. This work could range from warehouses to factories. There is far too much emphasis on London and the south east and it is high time industries started focusing on the north of England.

I care passionately about Blackpool and only want what is best for the resort. Paul Maynard has failed Blackpool North & Cleveleys and I hope at the next election – which could be sometime this year – people elect Labour’s Chris Webb who works hard by campaigning and holding the Tories to account. Like me, Chris only wants what is best for Blackpool North & Cleveleys. As an MP he will deliver change and will put Blackpool North & Cleveleys first, unlike Paul Maynard who is a career politician.

Jeremy Corbyn’s social reforms will transform Britain and he has pledged to invest in the North of England and in seaside towns like Blackpool that have been left behind for far too long.

Blackpool North & Cleveleys deserves better than Paul Maynard. But if people keep re-electing him then the social problems affecting the resort will only get worse.

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As a gay man I am horrified by the hate, division and transphobia in the LGBT+ community

I believe strongly in transgender rights. I recently posted a Twitter poll in response to Jeremy Corbyn rightfully saying that transgender women should be included in all-women shortlists. The poll has received more than 8,200 votes and 64% agree with Jeremy Corbyn:

Shortly after posting the poll, I began to receive abusive responses from people who were tweeting transphobic comments and attacking me for interfering with women’s rights. I was told, more than once, that as a man I have no right to comment on women’s rights. But what really horrified me was when I discovered that many of the offensive, bigoted and transphobic comments were coming coming from the LGBT+ community, and it has certainly been an eye-opener.

Every year the LGBT+ community comes together at Pride events, giving the impression that the community is strong and united. This could not be further from the truth.

My Twitter poll had responses from members of the LGBT+ community saying that the ‘T’ should be dropped from LGBT because transgender people are mentally ill; other people said transgender women are basically men who women’s clothes. Other comments included claims that transgender people are more likely to be sex offenders which is why transgender women should not be allowed to use women’s toilets or changing rooms because they pose a risk to women. And I even had lesbians who hijacked my Twitter poll and turned the entire discussion into lesbianism and attacked transgender women.

Some of the responses were very aggressive, and I even had transgender men and women attack me for posting the poll. They did not appreciate me talking about transgender issues, nor did they appreciate me standing up for my transgender friends. Transgender men also complained that they are being discriminated against because they cannot join shortlists.

I suggested a compromise: LGBT+ shortlists, inclusive of transgender women instead of them joining all-women shortlists. Some people liked my suggestion, others condemned it. LGBT and BAME shortlists would enable more people from minority groups to get involved with politics, something that I would really like to see. The purpose of all-women shortlists was to put an end to male-dominated politics. For far too long politics was dominated by white men from privileged backgrounds and many of them were completely out of touch. We still have some of these old relics in politics, but thankfully they are gradually disappearing.

As a gay man I am horrified by the hate, division and transphobia in the LGBT+ community. We are brothers and sisters, we should love, respect and protect one another. Our community faces prejudice and discrimination on a daily basis and the only way we can counteract this is by uniting. Transgender people have just as much right to be part of the LGBT+ community as lesbians, gays and bisexuals; we should not be endorsing the same divisive rhetoric as the far-right.

A transgender woman is a woman. A transgender man is a man. And like the rest of us they are human beings with feelings. And they have human rights.

Campaigners have risked their lives fighting for LGBT rights; some have died. We owe it to them to come together as a community and unite. Unity is strength.

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The Tories won’t lower the voting age to 16 in England because they know the vast majority of young people will vote Labour

It was announced by the Labour-run Welsh Assembly on Saturday that the voting age will be lowered to 16 in May’s local elections. This is brilliant news for young people – and for democracy. The voting age was lowered to 16 in Scotland for the independence referendum in 2014 and was a huge success. Of the 3.6million people who voted, more than 100,000 were aged 16 and 17.

I strongly believe that the voting age should be lowered to 16 across the United Kingdom for all elections. When people reach 16, in the eyes of the law they are mature enough to get married, mature enough to become parents, mature enough to leave home and live by themselves, mature enough to get a job and mature enough to pay tax. But when it comes to voting in elections, they are not mature enough to cast a vote at the ballot box – a view that is endorsed by Tory MPs and party supporters.

The real reason why the Tories refuse to lower the voting age to 16 in England is because they fear that the majority of them will vote Labour – and after the way they have been treated by the Tories, who can blame them?

Young people from working class backgrounds have been hit hard by Tory austerity and party policies. The Tories have priced them out of enrolling in further education by revoking financial support like the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) that was set up by the last Labour government to help poorer students into further education. The Tories have also hiked tuition fees, closed careers offices and there has been a 27% drop in apprenticeships as they are not fit for purpose in their current form. And welfare cuts have also hit young people aged between 16 and 24 very hard.

The Tories have created a lost generation. Young people are leaving school and entering the adult world with no aspiration. They are the future of Britain but are being forced into zero hours contracts, low-paid work and unskilled labour. Some leave school and turn to drink, drugs and crime, while others end up living on the streets. Yet, young people from affluent backgrounds can afford to enrol in further education and get the best of both worlds. This is an example of inequality in Tory Britain.

Young people deserve a decent start in life regardless of their social background. They should have access to the skills and support they need to become builders, engineers, doctors, nurses, teachers and suchlike instead of Britain relying on cheap overseas labour. Young people have been given a raw deal by the Tories and it is simply not fair.

Jeremy Corbyn has reached out to young people and given them hope, and that is why many would vote for him. He has promised to scrap tuition fees, reinstate EMA, set up a National Education Service and invest in more apprenticeships – all of which will appeal to young people, while the Tories offer more of the same: no hope and more austerity.

In the event of another general election – and it is very likely that we will have another one sometime during 2018 – lowering the voting age to 16 would boost Labour’s chances of being handed the keys to Number 10. The Tories are losing support to people aged under 50, many of whom are veering towards Labour, but now people aged over 50 are beginning to do the same.

Changes to pensions has angered a lot of women born in the 1950s (known as the WASPI women) while older people who have saved for their retirement have now become the ‘bank of mum and dad’ as their children can not afford to buy or rent their own homes. And then there is the Tories’ Dementia Tax which has angered elderly people who will lose their homes to pay for their social care.

The Tories are in big trouble. As their elderly supporters die off and people aged over 50 continue veering towards Labour, lowering the voting age to 16 will boost Jeremy Corbyn’s chances of winning the next election. The Tories used to joke and laugh whenever someone said Jeremy Corbyn will he Prime Minister – but now that joke has become a reality. And the Tories are petrified.

The Tory Party slogan is ‘A country that works for everyone’. If Theresa May really does believe in her party slogan then she would lower the voting age to 16 in England. But we know she will not put her money where her mouth is because she is about as strong and stable as a chocolate fireguard.

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My apology to the transgender community

Today, I posted a Twitter poll in response to Jeremy Corbyn rightfully saying on the Andrew Marr Show that transgender women should be allowed to join all-women shortlists.

My sole intention of posting this poll was for feedback and debate, but it would appear that I have upset transgender men by not including them or making reference to them.

I believe strongly and passionately in transgender rights and believe that transgender men should be included in shortlists. I want more transgender people involved in politics and hope they get the support from all political parties.

My Twitter poll has received some good responses and I am pleased that the majority of responses have been positive and constructive, however there have also been a large number of transphobic responses tweeted and I strongly condemn them.

If my Twitter poll has caused offence then I profusely apologise. As for the abhorrent transphobic responses, they just prove that a lot more work needs to be done to fight the bigotry that the LGBT community faces on a daily basis.

Unity is strength, and standing together in defiance the LGBT community will win.

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New Labour relic Richard Angell uses the tragic death of a baby to attack Momentum

Another day, another Blairite tantrum courtesy of New Labour relic and Progress chairman Richard Angell. Only this time he has reached a new low.

In a heated argument on Twitter over Blairite-run Haringey Council’s Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV), which is basically a plan to sell off £2billion worth of social housing and is strongly opposed by local residents and Momentum activists, Richard Angell protested against Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) intervention after it told Haringey Council not to progress with its HDV project.

Richard Angell then attacked the Labour NEC and Momentum by accusing the so-called “hard-left” – a phrase he often uses to describe Momentum, Jeremy Corbyn and his allies – of doing nothing when Baby P tragically died in Haringey in August 2007.

Firstly, the Labour NEC was Blairite-run in 2007. Secondly, Blairite-run New Labour was in government – so Angell’s accusation that the hard-left “did nothing” when Baby P died is absolute nonsense.

Angell spends a great deal of his time slagging off Jeremy Corbyn and Momentum, but he has reached a new low by weaponising the tragic death of Baby P to attack Momentum. Several people have already reported Angell’s vile tweet to Labour’s General Secretary Iain McNicol and it may lead his suspension – and hopefully expulsion.

Angell is one of many Blairites who has weaponised antisemitism in their crusade against Jeremy Corbyn and Momentum, and now he has weaponised the death of Baby P for the same purpose.

I will certainly not be lectured by a New Labour relic who defends Tony Blair’s mass-murder of millions of Iraqi civilians and weaponises dead children in his crusade against the so-called hard-left.

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Tory MP Ben Bradley is unfit to be politics – and Theresa May refuses to take action

Last year the Tories were outraged when Labour MP Jared O’Mara was exposed for posting a series of homophobic and misogynistic comments online – dating back to 2002. Tory MPs even tried to debate it in parliament but their attempt to smear him backfired when John Bercow refused their request:

Labour has rightfully suspended Jared and he remains suspended while he is investigated by the party. He has returned to his parliamentary duties but is currently acting as an independent politician while his suspension is in place.

Meanwhile, Tory MP Ben Bradley, who was very vocal when Jared was exposed for posting offensive comments online, is in hot water himself. One of Ben’s tweets has come back to haunt him – and the timing is perfect:

Ben Bradley has been exposed for posting a series of offensive comments online – and despite this, Theresa May has refused to suspend him or take any disciplinary action. Furthermore, several Tory MPs have come to his defence including the contemptible James Cleverly.

In 2012, Bradley called for people on welfare to have vasectomies – which is effectively eugenics. Shortly afterwards, Bradley was exposed for calling London to be socially cleansed of the poor and for them to be moved to the North of England. He was elected as an MP in June 2017, narrowly beating Labour for the constituency of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire – which happens to be in the North of England – by 1,057 votes.

Bradley has also attacked public sector workers including nurses who complained they were using food banks because of low pay and the Tories’ 1% pay cap. His sheer and utter ignorance towards public sector workers is absolutely disgraceful.

Another one of Bradley’s offensive comments about the London riots in August 2011 was also unearthed when he joked that the police should play a game of ‘splat the chavs’ with water cannons.

Theresa May recently appointed Ben Bradley as the Tories’ new ‘youth tsar’ to try and win support from young people, but his attitude and offensive comments prove he is unfit to be in politics, let alone appeal to the youth vote.

The Tories like to take the moral high ground and are only too quick to condemn Labour and Momentum for wrongdoing, yet they are defending Ben Bradley’s vile comments and feel he has done nothing wrong.

The Tories defending Bradley’s comments is yet another attack on people on welfare including sick and disabled people, public sector workers and young people.

I appeared on LBC on Tuesday, 16 January and spoke to Nick Ferrari about Bradley’s comments, and unsurprisingly Nick defended him. The state has absolutely no right in dictating how many children a family should have, nor does it have the right to support eugenics for people on welfare. This is the rhetoric of 1930s Germany.

One of the questions Nick asked me was “should Ben Bradley be sacked?”

My response was clear: no, he should not be sacked – that decision should be made by his constituents in Mansfield. But the fact Theresa May is refusing to take action against Bradley, as well as his colleagues leaping to his defence, says more about the Tories than it does those of us who are outraged and disgusted.

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Holocaust denial is illegal in some countries, so why not in Britain?

For years now I have called for Holocaust denial to be made illegal in Britain. That also includes mocking the Holocaust. Yet, whenever I make this suggestion I am accused of attacking freedom of speech.

Holocaust denial and mocking the Holocaust is not freedom of speech, both are offensive and disrespectful to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. Hitler and the Nazis were responsible for the murder of 6 million people in concentration camps and most of them were Jews.

Holocaust deniers and conspiracy theorists dispute the events of the war but they have not once provided any concrete evidence to back up their unsubstantiated claims; they merely dress up opinion and conspiracy as fact.

The survivors of the Holocaust are living proof that it happened, but the words of crazy conspiracy theorists carry no weight.

I believe Holocaust denial should be made illegal in Britain. If a person sprays graffiti on a cenotaph then they are rightly arrested for it and are accused of disrespecting the war dead, yet a person can freely deny or mock the Holocaust. Are their actions not also disrespecting the war dead? One rule for one and another rule for another.

Here is just one shocking example of why Holocaust denial needs to be banned in Britain. Conspiracy theorists aim to change the course of history by denying the Holocaust happened. They must be stopped from poisoning people’s minds.

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When Nye Bevan said the Tories are lower than vermin, he was not wrong. Just take a look at this

Today marks six months since the Grenfell Tower tragedy, a tragedy that should never have happened. A total of 71 people were burned alive: 53 adults and 18 children in one of Britain’s worst cases of corporate murder.

Jeremy Corbyn attended today’s Grenfell Tower memorial service and comforted the mourners who will never stop grieving. And while he was out the front with the mourners, Theresa May made an appearance – and snook in via the back door.Just what does that say about Theresa May?

Despite today being a very painful day for the Grenfell Tower survivors, all Tory supporters can do is tweet bile and venom at Jeremy Corbyn. I mean, how dare he show sympathy and make the effort in meeting the survivors?One Tory supporter in particular regularly tweets bile and venom about Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party: Meet ‘Paul’, who goes by the Twitter handle @freespirited_p

So, Jeremy Corbyn makes Paul ‘sick’. I tell you what makes me sick, Paul: vermin like you who justify the actions of this abhorrent Tory Government.In 2013, the Tories received the outcome of an inquiry into fire safety of high-rise buildings following the Lakanal fire in 2009. The Tories ignored the recommendations of the report, and consequently the Grenfell Tower tragedy happened four years later. Gavin Barwell was the Tory MP responsible for the report being ignored. A Huffington Post article can be read here.‘Paul’ is just one of many Tory supporters who is ugly on the inside and on the outside. When Nye Bevan said the Tories are lower than vermin, he was not wrong…

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It’s time for far-right movements to be banned in Britain once and for all

Since the Brexit vote in June 2016, hate crimes in Britain have reached record levels. Whether Brexiteers like it or not, Brexit has played a part. I voted Brexit, but not because I am racist or xenophobic. Nor did I listen to the likes of Nigel Farage and Arron Banks. I had my own reasons.

Theresa May has pledged to deal with far-right extremism but has so far not done enough. The biggest problem in Britain are far-right groups. Most of them blame ethnic minorities, refugees and immigration for Britain’s problems, while letting the current and successive governments off the hook. The far-right scapegoats ethnic minorities and whips up hate and division. That is their main objective.

On 16 June 2016, Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered by Thomas Alexander Mair, a far-right extremist who had links to Britain First. He was known for his racist and intolerant views towards ethnic minorities. Rightfully, Mair was jailed for life for Jo’s murder.

Recently, Tommy Robinson and many other far-right supporters attended a 60,000-strong rally in Poland, where thousands of people called for Jews and Muslims to be driven out of Europe. This rally – and there have been dozens more held in parts of Europe – replicated the rallies of the Nazis in 1930s Germany.

Tommy Robinson and Britain First regularly hold rallies in Muslim communities in places like Birmingham and Luton specifically to cause provocation and trouble. And each time they come under attack they play the part of the victim.

Antisemitism and Islamophobia are both on the rise. Synagogues and mosques have been vandalised and others have had pig’s heads left outside them. Those responsible for these abhorrent crimes are far-right supporters. This is what they do: attack ethnic minorities and a person’s faith in their crusade against multiculturalism. Their aim is to divide and destroy communities.

One thing that gets me is the way far-right supporters always justify the actions of their own. The recent incident in Charlottesville and the murder of Jo Cox – according to the far-right – was because the attackers had ‘mental health problems’, yet as soon as an act of terror has been committed by a jihadist, the far-right are outraged.

I have mental health issues but I do not commit acts of terror. And talking of jihadists, they are not real Muslims; they have merely hijacked Islam as part of their own toxic and barbaric ideology. Islam is a peaceful religion and the majority of Muslims are outraged when acts of terror are committed in the name of Islam. Muslims have held rallies in London, Birmingham and Luton condemning terrorism, but these are rarely reported by the mainstream media. Social media is the best source of information nowadays.

Donald Trump’s recent declaration of Jerusalem being the capital of Israel has caused deep divisions between Jews, Arabs and Muslims – and the far-right is exploiting it.

I would like Parliament to consider a Bill where MPs debate and vote on banning far-right groups in Britain, and also lifetime political bans for any person who condones hate against ethnic minorities or singles out particular groups, such as Jews and Muslims. If a person has racist and divisive opinions then they are unfit to be in politics. Their views also mean that they will show a biased attitude against ethnic minorities.

As part of this Bill I would like Parliament to also debate and vote on making Holocaust denial and mocking the Holocaust a criminal offence, and treated as a hate crime. I have long called for Holocaust denial to be made illegal in Britain, and have consequently been accused of attacking freedom of speech. Likewise, I have previously been accused of attacking freedom of speech by calling for far-right groups to be banned in Britain.

Freedom of speech does not include racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, antisemitism, Islamophobia, or any other form of bigotry.

The far-right is a cancer in our society and it needs wiping out. A gay couple should have the right to hold hands and kiss in public. Jewish people have the right to attend their local synagogue without being abused on the street. Muslims have the right to attend mosque without fear. And a person from the BAME community has the right to travel on public transport without being racially abused.

I am delighted that the Jewish community in Stanford Hill, London, has started to relocate to Canvey Island, Essex. Local people have said how friendly their new Jewish neighbours are, and likewise the Jewish community has said it has been made to feel very very welcome.

This is the very thing that the far-right opposes: it opposes multiculturalism and tolerance, the same far-right that has hijacked the Union Jack and the poppy as part of its toxic ideology.

The far right claim to be British patriots, yet when Labour held its party conference in Brighton this year, they stupidly mistook the Brighton Pavilion – which was displayed in the conference hall – as a mosque. Hundreds of them took to social media to vent their outrage, only to be humiliated.

The far-right also claim to respect Britain’s war dead and all war heroes who have fought for this country. Yet, they also support the ideology of the Nazis and the fascists – the very ideologies the Allies fought against to liberate Europe and restore democracy and freedom.

The best way of tackling hate crime is by attacking the root cause – and in Britain it happens to be the far-right.

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Tories block Labour’s Bill to lower the voting age to 16. So much for democracy #VotesAt16 

The Conservative Party slogan is ‘A country that works for everyone’. Yet, on Friday, Conservative MPs deliberately filibustered a Labour-led Bill in parliament on lowering the voting age to 16, meaning parliament could not vote on the Bill. This just proves the Conservatives’ sheer and utter contempt for non-affluent young people. 
It is about time that filibustering was banned in parliament. 

The reason why the Conservatives are against lowering the voting age to 16 is because young people are more likely to vote Labour – and who can blame them after the way they are being treated?

Since 2010, the Conservatives’ austerity policies have hit young people from poorer backgrounds extremely hard. These youngsters have been priced out of further education. EMA was abolished. Careers offices have closed. Tuition fees continue to be hiked. And apprenticeships are inaccessible.

Only young people from affluent backgrounds are benefiting from further education because their families can afford it. Meanwhile, young people from poorer backgrounds are being forced into zero hours contracts and low-paid jobs so the Conservatives can crow about falling unemployment. 

Young people are the future of Britain and I believe it is only fair that they get to have their say. The Conservatives have created a lost generation, young people are leaving school with no ambition and have been priced out of further education. Young people deserve a fair and equal deal and must be given the opportunity to have a decent start in life. They deserve it. 

Instead of relying on cheap overseas labour, we should invest in young people so they have the skills to become doctors, nurses, builders, engineers, electricians and suchlike instead of forcing them into jobs that offer no hope or progression. Schools should also allow young people to study these jobs thus encouraging young people to leave school with an ambition.

I get frustrated and find it patronising when people say that 16 and 17-year-olds are not mature enough to vote. 


Young people are more clued up on politics than people think. Since the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, thousands of young people aged under 18 have joined Labour’s youth groups and get involved with local campaigning. Many are also fluent with using the internet and have access to a vast amount of information. 

I regularly have debates with young people on social media and they always debate sensibly and put forward strong opinions and arguments. And they are always polite, yet I have had adults aged over 25 resorting to insults and abuse just because they disagree with my opinions, while others have resorted to racism and bigotry. Those views and opinions are not welcome and only prove one thing: these people literally have no argument. 

In the last election, Jeremy Corbyn acquired a huge amount of votes from students because he has addressed and pledged to end the Tories’ austerity policies and huge hurdles that are causing many a very difficult life. Labour has pledged to axe tuition fees and look at historical student debt. Only Labour is serious about putting young people first and giving them a decent start in life. And this is why the Conservatives fear lowering the voting age to 16, because they know Labour will benefit and will win the election with a decent majority. Data from the last election shows that more under 45s voted Labour than Conservative. 

I have long supported lowering the voting age to 16. People can get married at this age, pay tax and even join the army – so it is only fair that they get to have their say. People must stop writing off 16 and 17-year-olds as being immature and start taking them more seriously. 

Jeremy Corbyn has changed the political landscape in Britain and many young people now look up to him. As I said earlier, young people are the future of Britain and deserve to be part of democracy by having their say in elections. 

I fear for the future for Britain’s young people, including my niece and two nephews. When they turn 16, I want them to be able to have their say in elections. By lowering the voting age to 16, I believe it will encourage more young people to get involved in politics, and many of them will go on to be local councillors and MPs. And it will also end our political system being led by people from affluent backgrounds including Etonians, many of whom are completely out of touch with ordinary people. 

Unlike the Conservatives, I believe in democracy, which is why I support lowering the voting age to 16, and I fully support Labour’s pledge towards ending tuition fees and reinstating EMA. 

Only Labour will put an end to young people being marginalised. The party will not give up fighting for young people and will continue pursuing a parliamentary vote on lowering the voting age to 16, while it remains in opposition. 

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