Labour conference: De Piero pledges to connect Labour with young people

Neil Puffett
Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Labour's minister for young people has promised to connect the party with the next generation.

De Piero says she wants to "connect Labour with the next generation". Picture: Labour Party
De Piero says she wants to "connect Labour with the next generation". Picture: Labour Party

Speaking at the party’s annual conference in Brighton, Gloria De Piero, who was appointed minister for young people by Jeremy Corbyn earlier this month, described politics as “broken”.

“We need the next generation to help us fix it,” De Piero, who is also minister for voter registration, added.

She said young people need Labour to change its politics and deliver jobs, adding that politicians need to prove they are “in it for the right reasons”.

“I joined Labour with the simple belief that people from ordinary backgrounds should be able to get on in life,” she said.

“Why is it that in this country, if you are born poor you are more likely to stay poor?"

De Piero said that under the current government the number of young people owning their own home is down and falling, maintenance grants for the poorest students have been axed, the target to abolish child poverty has been removed, and numbers of apprenticeships for young people are down.

“Conference debates and member’s rallies can energise us and motivate us but only by debating with the public and by rallying voters can we change lives,” she said.

“My task now will be to connect Labour with the next generation, bring people to the party that, like my 18-year-old self wanted to vote Labour to give people a better chance in life.

“We need to use the energy of the many young people that have joined the Labour party since May to reach thousands more who need Labour to be in government.“

Earlier, Kate Green, Labour’s shadow minister for women and equalities, told the conference that cuts to public services are a huge setback for equality.

"Closing Sure Start centres leaves mums isolated and damages children’s potential," she said.

"Youth services have shut. Refuges and advice services, including specialist services for lesbian and gay young people, and for black and ethnic minority women, are facing closure."

Green said Labour will campaign against measures that hold back progress on equality.

“We will toughen up the law on hate crime,” she said.

“We will not tolerate the abuse and contempt suffered by those who rely on our welfare state, and are stigmatised as scroungers.”

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