Members of Youth Parliament elected to represent Hackney
Two Members of Hackney Youth Parliament have been elected to represent local young people on the national stage.
Members of the borough’s youth forums voted for Ife Grillo and Zafar Alibhai to represent them on the UK Youth Parliament, alongside other young people from across the country.
Nine young people, aged 11-19, put themselves forward for the position. They all wrote manifestos, which were printed anonymously so that votes were cast purely on the strength of their pledges.
Zafar, 16, a pupil at The Petchey Academy, promised to tackle negative perceptions of young people in the media. He also wants to see tax breaks for young entrepreneurs, help for the young unemployed and opportunities for young offenders to turn their lives around.
He said: “I'm pleased that I’ve been voted in as MYP for Hackney. Before I joined Hackney Youth Parliament I was Hackney 2012 Olympic Youth Ambassador for two years as well as a member of the Hackney Youth Opportunity Fund Panel.
“I enjoy politics and I hope to represent the voices of young people as much as I can. As a young person being bought up in Hackney I hope to end the stereotypical views that many hold towards young people and to make them positive by being the voice of the young people.”
Ife, 14, a pupil at Bridge Academy, said he wanted young people to be actively involved in shaping their own future and to feel that they have control over their lives.
He said: “My main aim is to help young people realise what they want to do in life. There should be a heavier focus on preparing for work and finding out what you want to be.”
As part of UKYP, Zafar and Ife will take part in national debates – including an annual debate at the House of Commons. Throughout their two years in office they will also help to run high profile national campaigns.
Hackney has some very dedicated young politicians who give up their time to represent young people through Hackney Youth Parliament and the UK Youth Parliament. I’m sure Ife and Zafar will be fantastic ambassadors for Hackney and will make local voices heard on the national stage.