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Youngest MP Keir Mather hits out at ‘pitting generations against each other’

Among his colleagues was Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP Michael Shanks.

Parliament’s youngest MP has hit out at “divisive politics that seeks to pit one generation against the other” in his first speech to Parliament.

Keir Mather, 25, also drew attention to the fact he was born in 1998, a year after the last Labour government came to power in his maiden speech in the House of Commons.

Mr Mather, who takes up the unofficial title of “Baby of the House” – because he is currently the youngest MP, was flanked by other recently elected Labour MPs as he made his speech.

New MPs take Commons seats
Keir Mather shaking hands with the Speaker of The House Sir Lindsay Hoyle (UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor)

Among his colleagues was Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP Michael Shanks, who sat on the green benches for Mr Mather’s speech on Monday night after taking his oath of allegiance earlier the same day, his first in Parliament.

To laughter from across the Commons, Selby and Ainsty MP Mr Mather said: “I am the first Member of Parliament to have been born after the last Labour government took power in 1997 and I know some members may want to close their ears at that fact.”

He added: “But it does means I have grown up in a world destabilised by the technological revolution, climate crisis, and war, and I will live through a century of unparalleled global upheaval.

“In the face of these challenges myself and other young people believe that Britain has a duty to become a leader again.”

Mr Mather also paid tribute to his electors, telling the Commons: “As I said on the night of my election, I hope to be a representative of that power of young people to make a difference. But we won’t do it alone.

“I was sent to this place by a constituency that is older than the national average but who put their faith in me to defend their interests, and that is because in spite of the divisive politics that seeks to pit one generation against the other, in Selby and Ainsty we share our ambitions for our community and our country, and are committed to realising them together.”

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