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Use of the Chamber (Youth Parliament)

Part of Royal Assent – in the House of Commons at 5:27 pm on 12th March 2009.

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Photo of Martin Salter Martin Salter Labour, Reading West 5:27 pm, 12th March 2009

I will give way to the right hon. Gentleman in a moment, but I believe that he was a member of the Modernisation Committee at the time. We debated the matter at length and heard compelling evidence from the youth development officer at Lewisham council, the parliamentary education service and the UK Youth Parliament. All our witnesses said clearly what a fantastic opportunity it would be for young people to come into this Chamber—the cockpit of the mother of Parliaments—and be treated with maturity and respect, not patronised in the way that they have been in some of the contributions that we have heard. Of course the UK Youth Parliament is capable of a mature, sensible debate. Its members are the future citizens of our country and deserve to be treated with respect. That is what is intended in the motion.

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