East Belfast Alliance MP Naomi Long backed a motion supporting the use of the House of Commons chamber by the UK Youth Parliament for debate on an annual basis. The motion was approved by 499 votes to 21 after some members had opposed granting the use of the chamber.

Cllr. Long said, “As an active supporter of the setting up of the youth forum and shadow assembly in Belfast City Council and at the Northern Ireland Assembly, I was both amazed and disappointed to see that some MPs opposed the use of the House of Commons by members of the UK Youth Parliament.

“I recognise the positive impact that the introduction of such active youth participation projects have had in Northern Ireland, encouraging young people to become more actively engaged in politics and building their self-esteem and confidence and I believe that, by allowing these young parliamentarians from across the UK to use the House of Commons Chamber is a positive step and gives well-deserved recognition to those young people who have been elected to the UK Youth Parliament and has the potential to inspire other young people across the country to get engaged.

“I was delighted to support this motion, particularly ahead of this weekend, when the UK Youth Parliament is due to visit Northern Ireland for its annual sitting for the first time in its 10 year history. Undoubtedly, that visit will act as further encouragement to young people to engage with democracy, whether as a member of the youth forum in their local council, at the NI Assembly or in the UK Youth Parliament itself.”


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