CANDIDATES for Darlington’s next Youth MP have launched their manifestos as they hope to represent the borough’s young people in Parliament.

The six motivated youngsters, aged 14 to 17, will begin campaigning to follow in the footsteps of current MYP, 17-year-old Mille Tezcan.

The youngest campaigner, 13-year-old Francis Humble from Carmel College, is hoping to introduce a minimum wage for under 18s and bring free breakfasts to all schools.

Francis said: “I believe we should be paid a fair wage based on our ability and our commitment to work, not paid less because we are younger.”

The oldest candidate, Jack Houghton, 17, is a student at Darlington College. He is campaigning to improve sexual health education in schools and remove the stigma around mental illness.

He said: “I am standing because I believe that the voices of young people are not being heard, and that services are being severely cut in Darlington.”

Htet Wunna, 16, from Hummersknott Academy, wants to protect schools from budgets cuts and lower the voting age to 16.

Htet said: “I believe that everyone should have the same opportunities in life to do great things no matter their background or what year they were born. If we are going to be the future we need to give ourselves a voice.”

Fourteen-year-old Dylan Wilson from Carmel College is hoping to introduce student discount cards for Secondary Schools, and make extracurricular activities such as sport and music more accessible.

“I am running to become Darlington’s next Youth MP because it is a great opportunity to make a change,” he said.

David Wilson, 15, from Hummersknott Academy is campaigning to make exam re-sits available and introduce a new system to deal with bullying.

He said: “I want to change many young people’s attitudes towards their mental and physical health and give them the ability to set up their future.”

And 15-year-old Vickie Stainer from Carmel College wants to give more support for people with mental health issues and lower the voting age.

Vickie said: “I would like to be the Youth Member of Parliament because there are lots of issues that need to be sorted and young people need a voice.”

  • Election week begins March 26, anyone aged 11-18 educated in Darlington can vote through their school.