Darwen Vale teen named new youth MP

Blackburn Citizen: Council leader Kate Hollern welcomes the new Youth MP Harry Kay  and his deputies Abdul Zafar, pictured left, and  Katheja Asif on the right Council leader Kate Hollern welcomes the new Youth MP Harry Kay and his deputies Abdul Zafar, pictured left, and Katheja Asif on the right

SPORTS and politics-mad 16-year-old Harry Kay is Blackburn with Darwen’s new Youth MP after the biggest ever poll for the job.

The Darwen Vale High School pupil succeeds Harry Bithell in the post, which includes speaking about young people’s concerns at the council’s ruling executive board.

With more than 7,000 votes cast, Mr Kay’s victory with 1,485 was announced at a ceremony in the council chamber earlier this week.

The new Youth MP (whose hobbies include rugby, swimming and debating politics with friends) made bullying his main campaign issue.

He said after winning: “I hope that in this year I can fulfil my election pledge and raise awareness of the symptoms of bullying.”

His father George Kay said: “I am extremely proud of my son. I know he is up to the job, and he will go about it in his own way.”

Harry’s win will mean regular trips to London to attend the houses of parliament for youth MP debates.

Asked to advise his successor, Mr Bithell said: “It is really important to ensure that you put the effort in to the position — the more effort you put in, the more you will get out of the year.”

Council leader Kate Hollern said: “I welcome Harry to the council and I look forward to working with him over the next 12 months.”

The two runners up — Katheja Asif with 1,294 votes and Abdul Zafar with 1,065 — will act as Mr Kay’s deputies.

Also elected in a separate election to represent Chorley was Albany Academy pupil Kelly Swaby.

Kelly has a two-year term and will be attending a regional meeting at the end of the month to look at what matters affect young people in Lancashire.

She said: “I am really happy to be chosen.

“I look forward to the next two years and being able to give the young people of Chorley a voice in democracy.”

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