Following the resignation of Ed Miliband there has been a lot of speculation on who will replace him as leader of the Labour Party in the hope of winning the next general election. I thought it would be a good idea to get in touch with the Labour Party leadership candidates and find out what their thoughts are about young people and the future of the party for them. In this interview I asked Yvette Cooper (who is also the Shadow Home Secretary) and her team some questions about their vision for young people and the party.
- How important is it that young people take an interest in politics?
“Politics affects the lives of young people just as much as everyone else. From the impact of tuition fees and high levels of youth unemployment, to passions about the environment or international affairs, young people have strong views and concerns and it’s important we listen and respond. We simply can’t win back the trust of the British people and get into Government, without bringing young people along with us. I realise the importance of young people for the future of our Party and our nation and support young people getting involved in politics. I joined the Labour party myself as a teenager because I hated how divided our country had become. I was the only candidate to support allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote in the EU referendum.”
- If elected as Labour leader, what will be your priorities for young people?
- Leading the revolution in vocational education so everyone can get the skills for the new jobs we need.
- Tackling the disadvantage which is holding children back. Nearly 5 million children will be in absolute poverty, many of them in working families, as inequality widens. The Tories have abandoned the child poverty target – but we shouldn’t tolerate child poverty in Britain in the 21st Century at all. It’s time to increase childcare, increase the minimum wage, bring in a living wage – help parents give every child the very best chance in life. We should recommit to ending child poverty in Britain within a generation.
- Building more homes. Right now fewer and fewer young families are getting the chance to own their own home – unless their parents or grandparents can afford to help them. That’s not fair. We need a revolution in housebuilding – not the 200,000 homes a year we promised at the election, but 300,000 homes a year.