Sheffield Heeley candidate could be youngest MP

Louise Haigh, Labour candidate for Sheffield Heeley
Louise Haigh, Labour candidate for Sheffield Heeley
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A political candidate could become the youngest MP in the country if she is elected to a Sheffield seat next year.

Louise Haigh, the Labour candidate aiming to replace Meg Munn in Heeley when she stands down, will be 27 when voters go to the polls at the general election next May.

She will become the nation’s youngest MP unless fellow party candidate Vicky Fowler, aged 23, triumphs in Nuneaton.

The current ‘baby of the House’ title is Pam Nash, who was elected at the age of 25 in 2010 to represent a Scottish constituency.

Miss Haigh, who grew up in Abbeydale Road and now lives in Woodseats, told The Star: “It is a mixed blessing, I think.

“People have reacted to it very differently, some question whether I have got the life experience to be able to do the job but having worked in so many different areas including the trade union movement, public, private and voluntary sectors I think I bring a very broad range of experience.

“I’ve lived an ordinary life in Sheffield and I think that is important, I’ve not just had a political career but I have had a very similar upbringing to the people I want to represent.”

Former Sheffield High School student Miss Haigh worked in council youth services after leaving Nottingham University and joined the party when she was 15.

She became a researcher for various MPs in Westminster, where she was also a Unite shop steward, before joining Aviva in Sheffield.

She said there was a lot of ‘anger’ among young people in the city about tuition fees and lack of jobs.

Miss Haigh added: “I think being potentially the youngest MP is also a way of helping to attract young voters, who are at their lowest ever levels.

“One of the ways to improve that is to get more young people in Parliament and elected positions.

“We had the first young Labour meeting in Heeley this week. It is really important political parties reach out to young people.”