GE2024: Young people join ‘Youth Power: Election Hour’ to share pre-election opinions and what they want to see from future Government

28 June 2024

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As the General Election campaign enters its final week, more than 100 young people – many from the UK’s most disadvantaged communities – will gather in central London to share their thoughts about the future of politics and the issues that matter most to them.

Youth Power: Election Hour, organised by the Back Youth Alliance, will see young people aged 14-25 coming together at Lambeth Town Hall on Monday, July 1, with more joining online – sign up to the livestream here – to discuss why they do not currently feel heard by politicians and what more they can do to help shape their own futures and the future of society.

They will be joined at the event by:

Youth leaders Lauren Bennett, aged 19, from Gloucestershire, and 21-year-old Ayesha Karim, from East London, will host the event.

Ayesha said: “I’ve been involved in Scouts since I was aged six and Scouts is all about supporting young people to become active citizens.

Young people are fiercely interested in politics and the future of our country.

Youth leader Lauren Bennett

“With a general election in less than a week, now is the time to come together with other young people who care so much about making an impact in their communities and beyond.

“It’s time young people are recognised for the difference we make in society and are listened to by decision-makers. We want to show young people that they can stand up, speak up and make a difference.”

Youth leader Ayesha Karim, aged 21, from East London.

Lauren said: “I’m so excited to be part of Youth Power Hour.

“We’ve heard a lot from politicians this election about what they expect from young people – now it’s our turn to share what we want to see from them. The decisions they will make in coming months and years will have a huge impact on our futures.

“From our education, to climate change, to jobs to mental health, young people are fiercely interested in politics and the future of our country and we have ideas and opinions that can bring a huge amount to the debate.

“I hope this event will inspire everyone watching to believe their voices matter and encourage them to get involved in politics – this week and beyond.”

Youth leader Lauren Bennett, aged 19, from Gloucestershire.

At the event, young people will learn more about how politics works and top tips on effective campaigning and making their voices heard in the years ahead. 


Alastair will be drawing from his new book, Alastair Campbell Talks Politics, an empowering introduction to politics which aims to make politics relatable and interesting for young people; explains how the country is run, how elections and voting work, and how to get involved.

He said: “At its best politics is a force for good, but we have seen so much of the bad in politics in recent years and it has to change.
“I am convinced young people are the key to the change in the debate that is needed, but they need to become more engaged and more involved.

“At the moment, old people vote more than young people. I want to persuade young people not just to vote, but also to understand that all of their ideas and energy are going to be needed if the country is going to be turned around and deliver the kind of progress they want.”

Writer, podcaster and strategist Alastair Campbell.

Kwajo said: “I know young people have strong opinions, we just don’t often get a chance to be heard by people in charge! That’s why this event matters.

“All this election we’ve had so many politicians telling us what they think is best for young people. Now it’s time for young people to be heard.”

Social housing and youth campaigner Kwajo Twenebo.

Salma said: “Youth engagement in politics is vital to protect our systems and their legitimacy for the future.

“Having a vote is only one way to influence the government and politicians.

“The job of elected representatives is to listen and reflect, so I’m delighted to see the BackYouthAlliance bringing together this important group to find bigger and better ways to engage.” 

Salma Shah, a public policy advisor and special adviser to Home Secretary Sajid Javid from 2018-19.

Recent research by Opinium showed only one in 10 young people aged eight–17 believe politicians always or often focus on the needs of young people when making decisions, but 88 per cent of young people believe it is important to have a say in the decisions politicians make about public life.

New Duke of Edinburgh’s Award research shows two-thirds of young people had engaged in one or more political activity over the last three months, and 53 per cent of those aged 18 or over said they were interested in UK politics – yet only four in 10 of those eligible to vote, 40 per cent, said they would be likely to cast their ballot at the next general election. More than half of young people aged 14-24, 53 per cent, disagreed or strongly disagreed that politicians in the UK listen to people their age.

Election calls

Ahead of the forthcoming General Election, UK Youth is urging all political parties to: 

Read more

‘Youth work is a solution’

UK Youth responds to Labour Party manifesto

UK Youth responds to Conservative Party manifesto

UK Youth responds to Liberal Democrat manifesto

UK Youth responds to proposal for mental health professionals in school

What the youth sector wants from the next government

UK Youth responds to National Service proposal

About UK Youth

UK Youth is a leading charity with a vision that all young people are equipped to thrive and empowered to contribute at every stage of their lives. With an open network of more than 8,000 youth organisations and nation partners; UK Youth reaches more than four million young people across the UK and is focused on unlocking youth work as the catalyst of change that is needed now more than ever. To find out more, visit ukyouth.org 

UK Youth is involved in a range of programmes designed to help young people thrive, such as outdoor learning, physical literacy, social action and employability, including Hatch, a youth employability programme run in partnership with KFC. For more on UK Youth’s programmes, see ukyouth.org/what-we-do/programmes

About Back Youth Alliance

The Back Youth Alliance was created to champion solutions together with young people for our most pressing challenges, speaking with one voice and ensuring that funding delivers the greatest impact.

Members include: The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Girlguiding, NCS TrustOnSide, The Prince’s Trust, Scouts, UK Youth and YMCA.

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