Hartlepool teenager makes speech in the House of Commons

The Magna Carta speakers. Photograph courtesy of � UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor
The Magna Carta speakers. Photograph courtesy of � UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

A Hartlepool teenager followed in the footsteps of Britain’s political leaders when she got to speak in the House of Commons.

The honour went to Lauren Howells, 17, who was selected to deliver a speech on the Magna Carta.

Lauren Howells

Lauren Howells

It came about as Lauren is a member of Youth Parliament (MYP) for Hartlepool and it gave her the prestigious honour of being able to speak from the despatch box.

Lauren studies at Hartlepool Sixth Form college and was chosen from all MYPs in region to deliver her speech in the hallowed chamber.

She joined other members of the UK Youth Parliament who were all debating a range of topical issues, including the need for improved mental health services and tackling racist and religious discrimination.

They also marked the 750th anniversary of the Magna Carta through a discussion of what its principles mean to young people today.

The Youth Parliament, which is sitting for its sixth year in the House of Commons Chamber, heralds the start of Parliament week which runs from Novembver 16 to November 22.

It includes a UK-wide programme of events and activities that inspire, engage and connect people with parliamentary democracy.

This year, a record number of UK 11-18 year olds - 969,992 - voted for five campaign subjects to be debated in the House of Commons by Members of the Youth Parliament who themselves have been elected to represent constituencies from every part of the UK.

The debates were being streamed live on the Parliamentary website, and all schools across the UK were encouraged to tune in to watch the debate.

At the close of debates, MYPs got a chance to vote to decide which of the topics will become the focus of their national 2015 campaign.

Now the appeal has gone out for more people to get involved in the MYP.

It is open to anyone aged between 11 and 18 and those wanting to get involved in future events should contact Helen White at Hartlepool Council on (01429) 284044 or email at Helen.white@hartlepool.gov.uk