'I’m excited at the chance I’ve been given' says Ryan after victory in UK Youth Parliament election

By Andrew Diprose [email protected]

Published: March 11, 2024 | Updated: 12th March 2024

A Year 11 student at Magna Academy in Poole has been elected to the UK’s Youth Parliament after a decisive victory.

Ryan Cornish, 16, won 2,400 votes (38 per cent) of the 6,400 votes cast.

The other success candidate, Elliot Prentice, received 1,300 votes.

Both will now take up their place at the UK Youth Parliament which each year meets with MPs, local government officials and service providers to discuss issues affecting young people.

Its annual debate takes place in the House of Commons in November.

The UK Youth Parliament has 369 members elected by their peers to advocate for young people in their local area.

Ryan and Elliot will represent the BCP council area as Members of the Youth Parliaments for the next two years.

Ryan’s election campaign centred around the prevention of knife crime in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

As Head Prefect of Magna Academy, he already has a good grasp of the skills required for effective leadership but is looking forward to developing these at a national level.

Ryan said: “I’m happy to have the platform to convey my passion about the issue of knife crime.

“Giving my speech at the hustings, and later speaking at the awards ceremony in front of the councillors, was quite nerve-racking but the experience has increased my confidence and my public speaking ability.

“I’m excited at the chance I’ve been given; I’ve gained the initiative to make change and that’s very motivating.”

Harry Ginger, Coordinator of Student Leadership, Culture and Competition at Magna Academy, pictured left, said: “Our goal as an academy was to actively engage in the Youth Parliament and its processes.

“It was really exciting when Ryan chose to get involved.

“What’s been so impressive is that the votes Ryan received from students at his own school amounted to less than a quarter of the votes cast for him.

“His reach beyond Magna is very impressive.

“We are all very proud of him and are ready to support him on this exciting journey.”

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