Ryan Simpson from Wallace High School won re-election to the UK Youth Parliament.
Conor McQuaid, also from Year 11, came second in the Lagan Valley constituency.
The UK Youth Parliament is a shadow body of the House of Commons. It is made up of 600 elected representatives from across the country. An MYP aims to give a voice to their constituents and lobby their public representatives. In his first term as a MYP, Ryan met councillors, mayors, MLAs, MPs, MEPs and ministers. He has even had the pleasure of sitting in the House of Commons.
Ryan described his first term as Member of Youth Parliament as “wonderful” but stated that he “wanted to continue delivering for Lagan Valley.” Four other candidates stood against Ryan and he described them all as “worthy opponents” before noting that the election had provided him with a “clear democratic mandate to represent Lagan Valley and ensure their voices are heard”.
The policies he will be championing this year are: Modern Languages Education, Political Participation, Living Wage and Mental Health.
Ryan wants to encourage schools in the Lisburn area to promote languages spoken in the emerging economic superpowers such as Mandarin, German and Hindi.
He will be persuading schools to help their students engage in Mock General Elections this May. This will give them first-hand experience of how democracy works.
Living Wage and Mental Health will be the UK Youth Parliament’s top priority this year and every MYP in the four nations will be campaigning on them. Ryan hopes to add to this effort by lobbying for a motion to be passed through the new Lisburn and Castlereagh Council.