Sunderland youth MPs join Westminster debate

Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Children's Services, Coun Pat Smith, with Sunderland Youth Parliament members, Jaskaran Dhami , 15 (left) and Brian Terry, 15, who are travelling to Westminster to take part in a national debate.

Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Children's Services, Coun Pat Smith, with Sunderland Youth Parliament members, Jaskaran Dhami , 15 (left) and Brian Terry, 15, who are travelling to Westminster to take part in a national debate.

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YOUTH Parliament members for Sunderland travelled to London to take part in a debate at Westminster.

Elected by the young people of the city to represent their views, 15-year-olds, Brian Terry and Jaskaran Dhami, were among more than 300 of their colleagues, known as MYPs, at the House of Commons.

This was the sixth year that young people have been invited into the chamber, to debate five issues decided by 865,000 votes in a national ballot.

The MYPs are the only other group ever invited to hold sessions in the Debating Chamber of the House of Commons and represent the views of young people from across England and Wales.

Young people are elected every two years, with every school and youth organisation in Sunderland invited to put forward candidates.

Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, Councillor Pat Smith, said: “The views and opinions of young people in Sunderland are very important to us, and both the Sunderland and UK Youth Parliament provide them with very valuable platforms for debate and discussion.

“We can all very proud that young people in our city are so interested in getting involved in helping to shape the future of our city and our country in this way.”

Brian, a student at St Robert of Newminster Catholic School, said: “As an MYP for Sunderland, I am excited yet determined to have young people’s voices heard from my city. I plan to do the best I can to represent them both fairly and fully.”

Yesterday’s debate was chaired by House of Commons Speaker, Rt Hon John Bercow MP.