Young members can often be put in a box and told we are the future, but why wait when we have young members with talent now? Young members are not the future we are the present and you can make a real difference today by applying to be a candidate for a parliamentary seat.
On 21st April applications will open to Labour Party members to put themselves forward to stand as a parliamentary candidate in June.
These seats will include seats from which sitting MPs have retired from and seats where we currently don’t have a Labour MP.
We often talk about the importance of young people participating in politics but when it comes to things like encouraging young members to stand for parliament we seldom practice what we preach.
That is why I want to put out a message to encourage young members to take the ultimate part in our democracy; you must be 18 or over and have 12 months continued membership to apply. If selected, you will be required to campaign hard for a Labour victory for the next 6 weeks on the doorstep.
Being a parliamentary candidate whether that be in a marginal seat or an unwinnable is also fantastic experience as you will be able to learn how a parliamentary campaign is ran. Even just going through the selection process is helpful if you see yourself as running for Parliament in the future.
Proper representation means having people from all backgrounds and ages in our Parliament, young people in the UK can often struggle to see past the benches of older white men and are put off from politics because of this.
Labour having young people standing as candidates will send the Tories a message that we are not prepared to just sit down and put up with Tory austerity targeting young people. We want to get out and fight for a £10 living wage, free school meals for all school children and an economy that works for the many and not the few.
So if you see yourself as a candidate in this general election, do not be put off by being told you are too young, Parliament needs people from all ages to be able to represent the country.
You have until Sunday 23rd April to apply to stand for Labour. What are you waiting for?
NEC Youth Representative