Conservatives appoint 48-year-old MP as youth spokesman

MP Nigel Huddleston has previously written about his opposition to lowering the voting age to 16

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Tuesday 12 February 2019 11:40

A 48-year-old MP has been appointed as the Conservatives new vice chairman for youth and will be responsible for attracting young people to the party's ranks.

Nigel Huddleston, who has been the Mid Worcestershire MP since 2015, was given the role at Tory headquarters which has the responsibility of overseeing the party's under 25 youth wing.

Announcing the junior appointment on Twitter, Brandon Lewis, the chairman of the Conservative Party, said: "Delighted to welcome Nigel Huddleston to the team at CCHQ as vice-chairman. He will be supporting our Young Tories movement."

It comes as the party desperately attempts to increase its appeal among younger voters, or risk going "out of business as a political party" as one Tory MP recently warned with its ageing membership.

Mr Huddleston was formerly a parliamentary private secretary in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport - working under both cabinet ministers Matt Hancock and Jeremy Wright.

He has previously written about his opposition to lowering the voting age to 16, claiming: "It is widely recognised as the age at which one becomes an adult, and full citizenship rights, including voting, should be gained at adulthood."

The MP replaces the 30-year-old Tom Pursglove, who resigned from the role in January citing his opposition to the prime minister's Brexit deal.

Mr Pursglove himself replaced Ben Bradley, who stepped down from the position in July 2018 at the age of 28 - also out of opposition to Ms May's plans for exiting the European Union.

Mr Huddleston's predecessors in the youth role, Mr Bradley, claimed after the snap election: "The fact that most of youth vote went to Labour in 2017 means Conservative must listen even more carefully".

He claimed the role was one of "attracting young people to our cause" adding: "Both our policies and our messaging need to have young people and their future at heart, focusing on the issues that directly affect their quality of life."

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