Hackney Youth Parliament ambassador joins House of Commons debate

Ife Grillo

Ife Grillo - Credit: Archant

A young ambassador for Hackney spoke about lowering the voting age to 16 in a House of Commons debate.

Ife Grillo, 16, who is a member of UK Youth Parliament represented the borough as young politicians from across the country debated key issues affecting their peers.

Nearly half a million young people, aged 11-18, voted on a shortlist of 15 topics, and the top five were discussed at the meeting, which was chaired by the Speaker of the House, The Rt. Hon. John Bercow and broadcast live on BBC Parliament and on BBC 3’s Free Speech programme.

Ife told the House that voting at 16 would give young people a direct platform to influence change.

“They say we’re not engaged enough but as students we all have strong opinions and the level of debate and engagement has increased,” he said.

“They say youth are not mature enough but we are expected to make decisions that will shape the rest of our lives.”

The Bridge Academy pupil said it was really special to represent Hackney in Parliament.

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“Speaking in such an amazing place made me realise why I love politics and encourage every young person to get involved in it,” he said.

For more information about Hackney Youth Parliament see www.younghackney.org.uk.