Friday, 14 May 2021

We must do better for young, says Tory

We must do better for young, says Tory

THE Conservative Party wants to get more young people involved, says a former first secretary of state.

Damian Green, who served under Theresa May, said the party needed to “do better” when it came to voters of the future.

The Ashford MP, who grew up in Shiplake and Reading, was speaking at an online meeting organised by the Henley Conservatives.

He said: “I have fond memories of the area and I’m always happy to talk to the Henley Conservatives and help them get more young people into politics if I can.

“I often go to schools in my constituency to talk to young people and they are interested in politics — there’s always good questions and I enjoy the discussion I have with them.

“Something that comes up very often is whether 16-year-olds should be allowed to vote and most young people feel very strongly about that.

“As a party, we need to do better among young people more widely, especially in the post-covid era. We need to give them more opportunities — we can’t leave them behind. Some of it, of course, is about policies but I think we should be listening to them more. We should never assume we know what they think.”

Mr Green, an Oxford graduate, said that he didn’t know what career path to take when he was in his late teens.

He said: “At the age of 18 I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after university but I was interested in politics and thought it would be useful to have an economics and philosophy background.

“I joined the Conservative Party and became one of their grassroot campaigners.

“At the end of the course I went into journalism like my father. I worked in local news and later worked for the BBC, Channel 4 and the Times.

“It quickly became very clear to me that I was more interested in politics than anything else. It’s better to be a player than a spectator. If you want to change the world you need to be involved yourself.”

His father Howard was the first editor of the Reading Evening Post. He was also managing director of Thames Valley Newspapers and worked for other newspapers in England and Wales before retiring in 1991. He died in 2018.

Mr Green said: “My father influenced my journalism a lot, but with politics it was the other way around as I became involved with the Conservative Party when I was at university. My father got involved at the same time.”

More News:

POLL: Have your say