20 November 2017   |  Last Updated 12-01-2015 03:08

      BLOG: Running for Parliament at 19

      WHEN you’re relishing in the latter days of your adolescent years there’s only certain things that interest you. That’s quite a reasonable statement to make having been that age once myself. 

      Whether it be the latest fashion trend, the hottest bit of technology, or even a decent night on the town, it’s crystal clear that the youthful majority aren’t attentive to the bigger picture - especially when it comes to national politics. However the same can’t be said for George Aylett, a 19-year-old from Bath, who is currently the youngest candidate for Parliament ahead of next year’s General Election.

      YOUTHFUL: George representing the red of Labour.

       

      It goes without saying that George isn’t your conventional middle-aged MP, having celebrated his final teenage birthday only 55 days ago. However the teen is hoping to eradicate the old-fogey perception of Westminster with his respective Labour candidacy in the Conservative-stronghold of South West Wiltshire, and he hopes this will encourage other young people to get involved in politics as a result.

       

      “The younger generation aren’t represented in any way, shape, or form,” George said.

       

      “Consequently we have no policies created which benefit young people and this therefore stops them from voting and that's why we have to break the cycle.

       

      “If they can vote for someone who they can associate with I think that will be good for young people in general, so I hope what I am doing inspires other young people to get involved because if they want their voices heard they have to get involved.” 



      While George’s campaign for MP may look extremely appealing to the younger voters of his constituency, it is in fact the older generation which will need the most persuading in the run-up to May as his age will be a major put off to some, but this doesn’t faze him.

       

      “I don’t think age is a barrier,” George added.

       

      “Maybe some people will be dissuaded by my age, but some will also see my candidacy as a positive difference.

       

      “The main message I should be pushing is ‘Hold on, it’s about the politics’, so even if I am 19, so what?”

      MINGLING: George talks to the older constituents at his local meeting.

       
      George won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, however, because that's how politics generally works. Having said that even some politicians, themselves, have doubts over youthful representation.

       

      Salford councillor Christopher Clarkson, who entered politics only four years ago at the age of 28, is one of those doubters. Hear what he said below>>>


      Young politicians do have a certain advantage on their elder peers, however, as they are usually more aware of the latest trends used by the public. So it's to no surprise that George understands the power of social media having built up an impressive Twitter following just shy of 200,000. This figure is miles ahead in comparison to South West Wiltshire’s current Tory MP, Andrew Murrison, 53, (2,193 followers) but the teen was adamant this wasn’t the only campaign technique in his arsenal.

                     

      “Social media has helped me a lot,” George said, having modestly played down his follower total which is quickly catching up to the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, who is currently on 364,000.

       

      “But my constituency is quite a rural place, so there isn’t a lot of people that actively use social media on a regular basis. That’s why I need to get my message out there through letters to the local press and by speaking to members of the public in person, as this is the best way of getting the message out there, that I am the Labour candidate for next year.”

       
      SELFIE: George takes a Twitter snap on his campaign trail.
       

      With less than five months to go before the General Election, George still has a long way to go with his campaign. But if he continues to shrug off the comments from those who doubt his age, the 19-year-old may well be a politician to look out for in the future – regardless of whether he wins his seat or not.

      Read what the public have said about the concept of a 19-year-old running for MP below>>>



      By Liam McCallion
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