Youth Parliament - too English
The UK Youth Parliament is to meet in the chamber of the House of Commons after two hours of 'robust debate' from the representatives who routinely use that chamber. During the debate Christopher Chope MP pointed out that one of the criticisms of UKYP is that the organisation is "too English".
Too English! Too English for whom? If it's too English for certain people then why don't they go and sit in the Scottish Youth Parliament, the Young People's Assembly for Wales or the Northern Ireland Youth Forum? Or - here's an idea - why not create an explicitly English forum and keep devolved matters out of the UK Youth Parliament?
The actual report to which Mr Chope refers found that:
There is considerable support for an English Youth Parliament, with UKYP functioning as an umbrella organisation. This support comes from some English stakeholders but is particularly strong amongst stakeholders from the devolved nations, who argue that UKYP functions at present as an English organisation and that this should be recognised formally.
When I wrote to UKYP to ask why there was no English Youth Parliament this is what they told me:
Dear Gareth - thanks for your email, unfortunately or fortunately depending on which way you look at this, the politicians in Westminster have indicated that they wish for there to exist a UK Youth Parliament, and not an English only Youth Parliament. As the Government in Westminster provides our core funding our hands are just slightly tied on this issue.
Development Co-ordinator | UK Youth Parliament
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Last week the United Kingdom Youth Parliament met at the House of Commons, it was only the second time in history that the House of Commons had opened its doors to non-MPs, the first time being the 2009 outing for the UKYP.
Speaker Bercow praised the div