The Co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales was at Birkenhead Sixth Form College to speak to our A Level students about politics and Westminster.
Caroline Lucas MP joined the college’s students along with others from local schools to take part in a question and answer session on a variety of topics.
The only Member of Parliament for the Green Party since 2010, Ms Lucas explained about some of the internal workings at Westminster and her role in Parliamentary groups before answering challenging questions from students about environmental issues, the voting system and the #MeToo campaign.
Ms Lucas, who represents the constituency of Brighton Pavilion in Parliament, said: “I think it’s absolutely crucial that young people get an opportunity to engage with politics at the earliest possible age. The Green Party believes strongly that we should reduce the voting age to 16. I think if we did that we would have even more politics in its broader sense being taught in schools and it would give space in the curriculum to do that, and it would mean that the politics that we have better reflects the people – young people are going to have the longest time to live with whatever the decisions are that are being made.
“There is such division with issues like access to affordable housing or the amount of debt that young people get when they go to university if they choose to go, and concerns around Brexit - all of those things are going to hit young people hardest, as indeed is the environmental crisis, so they should have a voice.”
The Green Party leader also had some advice for future politicians among the students, saying: “Don’t give up. Keep trying. I didn’t get elected to my first position as a county councillor in Oxfordshire until my third attempt so it may not happen overnight, but plug away at it. It’s the most rewarding thing that you can do and you can make some fantastic friends for life.”
The MP was joined at Birkenhead Sixth Form College by Wirral Borough Councillor Pat Cleary, who stands as the sole Green Party Councillor, representing Birkenhead and Tranmere. Before Ms Lucas took the floor, Mr Cleary answered some questions from students on local issues such as recycling and public transport.
Chairing proceedings was Birkenhead Sixth Form College politics student, Harry Gorman, who was part of arranging Ms Lucas’s visit through his role and a Wirral Young Greens officer.