Sheffield teenagers debate in the House of Commons

Jennifer Okerenta MYP for North Sheffield, Sapha Habib MYP for East Sheffield and Lara Ferguson MYP for West Sheffield in Parliament Square
Jennifer Okerenta MYP for North Sheffield, Sapha Habib MYP for East Sheffield and Lara Ferguson MYP for West Sheffield in Parliament Square
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A Sheffield teenager has spoken in a debate in the House of Commons on the UK Youth Parliament’s national campaign for next year.

Lara Ferguson, aged 18, took part in the debate about if Protect LGBT+ People should become the Parliament's chosen campaign.

Lara Ferguson MYP for West Sheffield and nominated speaker for Yorkshire and the Humber delivering her speech in the House of Commons

Lara Ferguson MYP for West Sheffield and nominated speaker for Yorkshire and the Humber delivering her speech in the House of Commons

It was one of five topics debated by Members of Youth Parliament, who voted to focus their efforts on lowering the voting age to 16 and a curriculum for life .

Lara attended the event with Jennifer Okerenta, member of the Youth Parliament for North Sheffield, and Sapha Habib, who represents East Sheffield.

Lara, a member of the Youth Parliament for West Sheffield, said: “It is absolutely fantastic to be given the opportunity to debate the most important issues for young people on the famous green benches.

“It is important that young people are given a platform for their issues so we are delighted to have the support of Mr Speaker and MPs from across the House.

“My hope is that we will be able to inspire more young people from all walks of life to use their voice and have their say on issues that matter most to them.”

The event, which was the ninth UK Youth Parliament debate in the House of Commons, was chaired by Speaker of the House, John Bercow.

Ayesha Khan, 17, Member of Youth Parliament for Peterborough, who spoke on the issue of lowering the voting age, said: “Votes at 16 is a pressing issue of paramount importance.

"I really don’t think we should confine the liberty of voting to 18 and above.

"The event shows that young people are engaged. I sincerely hope that the decision makers recognise the talents and abilities of young people and take progressive action on the issue of votes at 16.”

David Abadir, 18, Member of Youth Parliament for Cardiff, who spoke on a curriculum for life which was chosen as the priority campaign for England, said: “I’m really excited to see that young people have prioritised a curriculum for life, because by addressing this issue we can go on to effectively address many of the other issues discussed today and we make Britain a better place for young people."