Islington Council candidate, 18, who could become borough’s youngest councillor calls for more young blood in politics
PUBLISHED: 17:01 19 August 2013 | UPDATED: 17:36 19 August 2013
An 18-year-old who could become Islington’s youngest councillor at next year’s local elections is calling for more people his own age to enter politics.
Tahmid Chowdhury told the Gazette of his lofty ambitions while collecting his A Level results last week – which he smashed, scoring three As.
The former Central Foundation Boys School student – who will now study at the exclusive New College of Humanities, founded by philosopher A C Grayling – told of being up for the fight of toppling a Labour-dominated town hall.
Pulling no punches about his tender age, he said: “I’m really up for the challenge. I don’t think there are enough people my own age entering politics.
“I don’t believe my age is a weakness I actually think it’s a strength. Many of the decisions the Town Hall makes affect people my age, so having people the same age helps to deliver more effectively the things that affect people of that age.
“There are lots of things I believe I can help with. Education is a huge one where I think the council can improve its role.”
Regarding the contentious issue surrounding tuition fees, he added: “I actually think the Lib Dems have been showing they have done an amazing job locally and nationally.
“With the tuition fees, I think the policy we have now, of being able to take longer over paying back, and not having to pay back after £21,000 instead of £16,000, is better than what we had before.”
Mr Chowdhury, who will run for Clerkenwell ward, said more of his friends have become interested in politics now he has announced his intentions.
He added: “To be honest, I’m not bothered about whether I would be the youngest councillor, I’m not interested in that, I just really believe I could make a difference.”
The youngster wouldn’t be Islington’s youngest-ever councillor due to turning 19 by the time of the elections.
In 2010, Faye Whaley hit the headlines after Labour fielded her as a candidate aged 18 at the last local elections in 2010, impressively winning.
Although her friends told her she was “crazy”, she was inspired to enter politics – and continues to be councillor for Canonbury – after Ben Kinsella was murdered in 2008.
Terry Stacy, leader of Islington Lib Dems, said: “It’s great to have Tahmid on board and have him running for Clerkenwell next year. He is a real role model for people his age.
“This is what we need to ensure the council isn’t just made up of elderly, stale men.”
An Islington Council spokesman said: “We welcome councillors of all ages – it’s great when young people get directly involved in democracy.”