It was great to meet with students from Brougham Primary School as part of their trip to Parliament on Wednesday. Everybody had a good time and it was fantastic to see so many young people coming to learn about politics and what it is all about.
There is an excellent education centre at Westminster and I would encourage anybody to come along and make use of it.
Talking about young people, I have been looking at the demographics of voting in the recent General Election and it shows that the Labour Party has been massively supported by young people.
That can only be good for the future of the party and democracy in general.
In what has been described as a “youth quake”, more than 60 per cent of voters in the 18 to 24 age bracket voted Labour. Less than 30 per cent voted Tory. The figures ere very similar in the 25 to 34 age category, and it was not until the 45 to 54 age group that the Tory number caught up Labour.
I am so proud that so many young people alongside others not only came out to vote in the General Election, but also joined the Labour Party. The massive surge in membership of the party means that the number now stands at over 550,000, with 35,000 joining in just four days after the election.
These numbers are not only a fantastic tribute to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the party but they showed that politics is being done in a totally different way.
I genuinely wasn’t sure how many Labour members we had in Hartlepool, and to say I was delighted when I found out is an understatement. We have around 1,000 members. For a town of our size that is remarkable
But what is more remarkable is the number of new members who are either getting involved or want to get involved.
I saw this on the doorsteps in the election campaign and especially on social media, and it was fantastic.
I know that many of our new members in Hartlepool are quite rightly keen to get involved more and want to see a positive, vibrant, engaging and inclusive party being developed locally.
Well the situation is in their hands. They need to get involved. The party needs them and will welcome them with open arms.
There is little point in having thousands of members and having them sitting on their hands telling us they haven’t got a voice. They have. By the same token, the party needs to harness all of the young (and not so young) talent we have out there.
We must all work together to achieve our dreams and aspirations and I genuinely believe that we now have a golden opportunity to cerate a true mass participation party.
We have momentum and enthusiasm on our side. I couldn’t be more optimistic for the party and the future of young people.