Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border, joined other Cumbrian MPs and prospective parliamentary candidates, in a Question Time style panel event organised by Young Cumbria, to give young people the opportunity to raise the issues that matter most to them. Aged between 13 – 25, the audience questioned the panel on how their respective parties would try to better engage young people in politics, as well as posing questions on education, mental health care and climate change. Alongside Rory Stewart, the panel consisted of the Labour MP for Barrow, John Woodcock, the Liberal Democrat’s prospective parliamentary candidate in Penrith and The Border, Neil Hughes, the Green Party prospective parliamentary candidate in Workington, Jill Perry, and UKIP’s prospective parliamentary candidate in Carlisle, Fiona Mills.

Speaking after the event, Rory Stewart said:

“I thought today’s event was brilliant. We were asked some extremely pertinent, and often challenging questions from young people who showed themselves to be very articulate and well informed. At a time when political apathy among young people is very high, Young Cumbria has shown that if we take more time to engage and listen to young people, they have an incredible amount to contribute.”

Young Cumbria’s Chief Executive, Kathleen Newson said: “This event showed that many young people care passionately about issues like the environment and mental health. It is important that they get opportunities like this to put their questions to the people who are seeking to represent them in Cumbria and to hear what they have to say.

“Some of the young people here today will have the opportunity to vote for the first time in May and hopefully this will have helped to encourage them to make sure they use their vote.”

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