THE ‘MOTHERHOOD and apple pie tripe” plan to allow the Youth Parliament to debate in the Commons could lead to organisations like the Muslim Council of Britain sitting on the green benches, a Tory MP has said.
Philip Davies (Shipley), in a characteristically strong-willed speech, derided the “sad charade” of middle class, middle-aged MPs trying to “curry favour” with the youth vote by allowing the under-18s group use of the chamber.
Mr Davies said there was no logical reason why the Youth Parliament could use the Commons while other groups cannot, saying there is nothing to stop the Muslim Council of Britain or others debating in the chamber.
He said the situation had only arisen because former prime minister Gordon Brown made an “off the cuff” promise to young people at an event which was then made a reality by the then Labour government.
Speaking on a motion which would allow the Youth Parliament to use the Commons annually for the next five years, Mr Davies told MPs: “The bit I don’t understand is why is it just the Youth Parliament that is able to sit on these benches like Members of Parliament?
“My fear at the time and my fear still remains as to if it’s fine for the Youth Parliament to sit and use these benches then why not other groups?
“Why not other groups that want to meet and congregate and have a debate here?
“It may well be that the Muslim Council of Britain wants to come and have a debate in the House of Commons chamber and have their debate here.
“We have always had a rule in the past that these benches are only able to be used for MPs and that it’s a great privilege to be here.”
He went on: “Really what we have here is the usual rather sad charade of middle class Members of Parliament and middle aged Members of Parliament trying to curry favour with the youth and curry favour with the young vote.
“And how can they try and pretend that they are trendy with all the youthful voters? It’s basically to advocate motherhood and apple pie tripe like this.”
The Youth Parliament has held an annual debate in the Commons chamber every year since 2009.