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Angela's answers to your questions
1. How do you plan to get young members more involved in the Labour Party?
As Deputy Leader, I’ll be a strong ally of Labour’s young members. Young Labour members are our future and have done so much work campaigning for us up and down the country in elections. In Wirral for example, the efforts of Young Labour helped us win Wirral West and defeat Tory Minister Esther McVey! I want to see more recognition of the great work Young Labour members do.As Deputy Leader, I would like to arrange more national events to bring together Young Labour members form around the country to debate ideas, share best practice and arrange big campaign events. I also want to give Young Labour a more prominent role at Labour Party Conference.
2. What is your strategy to press the Government to allow 16 and 17- year-olds to vote in the European Referendum?
I’m committed to making sure that 16 and 17 year olds can vote in the EU referendum; it’s a momentous decision for the country and one that young people will live with for generations. The law that will make the referendum happen is currently going through Parliament. In my job as Shadow Leader of the Commons I’ve been pushing for the bill to be amended so that 16 and 17 year olds can vote. I hope that we can build a cross party alliance to get that change through. If we’re not successful then our colleagues in the Lords will me making the case there as well when the bill reaches them. We’ve got a long way to go yet and it’s something I’m fully behind, as well as making sure that 16 and 17 year olds can vote in all other national elections, something that was in our 2015 manifesto.
3. How can Labour get more women and young people, as well as BAME, disabled and LGBT members to stand for selection as candidates?
Despite the election result, I am pleased that Parliament is now more diverse than ever before, with more women, BAME and LGBT MPs. These changes wouldn’t have happened without the Labour Party and the wider Labour movement. I’m proud to have been one of the first to call for all-women shortlists as well as being Britain’s first openly lesbian MP. We need to defend schemes like the Future Candidates Programme as well as all-women shortlists that do a lot to diversify our politics. But we also need to focus more on local elections and encouraging more women, BAME, LGBT and disabled members, as well as younger people, to stand for election to councils.
4. Do you support an equal minimum wage for young people?
Subject to economic evidence from the Low Pay Commission I think we should definitely look to lowering the age when workers can claim the full minimum wage; it’s currently 21 and we should consider lowering it to include young people who work just as hard and do much of the same work. The most important thing is making sure that no workers are exploited and any discrimination against young workers should be stamped out. I’m also a complete supporter of the living wage and I want to see more employers paying that to their workers.
5. How can Labour get more young people involved in politics and increase electoral turnout amongst young people?
As Labour’s Shadow Leader of the House of Commons I led the Peoples Politics Inquiry that spoke to people of all ages and backgrounds, up and down the country. I found that people are often very passionate about their communities and society, but often people just don’t know how to get involved. I think we need to simplify the process of voting; before the election I called for us to explore the possibility of online voting, as well as allowing people to register to vote on polling day. Young Labour and Labour students also have a role to play in getting younger people involved in politics. I am also looking at the idea of setting up ‘Labour Apprentices’ which will reach out to a whole new generation of young people in work, get them involved in Labour politics and could help change the culture of people joining political parties.