If, like me, you’re undecided on who to vote for when it comes to the leader of the Labour Party, this article is just for you.

There is no denying that Labour values young people. This is evident from the Party’s consensus on 16 and 17 year-olds being given a vote in the EU Referendum and allowing all members of the Party from fourteen and up to vote in the leadership election. Despite this, even Labour can often fall into the regular political rhetoric for ‘adults only’. So, below is a run-down of each leadership contestant and what they pledge to do for young people:

Andy Burnham

The MP for Leigh and Shadow Secretary of State for Health, aged 45, attended Cambridge University and was initially seen as the ‘front-runner’ in the leadership bid. Burnham believes that the odds are currently stacked against young people and wants to make sure that each one of us has an opportunity to get onto the housing ladder, get into the best jobs, and he also wants to make it easier for young people with apprenticeships and those who choose to go to University. When it comes to wage equality for young people, Mr Burnham believes that it is time to put a stop to young people being exploited in the work place and pay them the minimum wage. As well as this, Burnham has promised that he will have a shadow cabinet of at least 50% women if he is elected as leader in order to equally represent people of the country. He also promises to have a front bench of people with different accents, backgrounds and simple diversity.

Yvette Cooper

Yvette Cooper, the 46-year-old Harvard University graduate and Shadow Foreign Secretary, believes that the Tories have hit young people hard. Cooper is passionate about ending child poverty, increasing hi-tech jobs for young people and giving 16 and 17-year-olds the vote in the EU Referendum and then in the 2020 General Election. In addition, she pledges to strengthen citizenship education in schools so young people have the chance to understand what their vote means and how the system works. Perhaps the most compelling stance of Ms Cooper’s is that she simply believes wholeheartedly that the ‘Parliament should look like the country’. On top of this, Cooper says it is her aim to make sure that it does – both in her would-be shadow cabinet and if she became Prime Minister, her official cabinet.

Jeremy Corbyn

Originally Corbyn was the outsider of the race to leadership, but now… it’s safe to say he’s in with a very good chance as polls have put him in first place. The 66-year-old back-bencher and MP for Islington North was the only contestant to formally oppose the welfare bill in Parliament as his opponents all abstained from voting. Corbyn believes strongly in anti-austerity and wants all young workers to be paid the same rate for the same jobs as their adult counterparts. An MP for 30 years, Mr Corbyn has had his fair share of experience and claims that ‘this generation of young people are as political as any in my time’ and believes that now is the time to harness that and give 16 and 17-year-olds the vote in the EU Referendum. Moreover, he also promises that he would ensure young people had the same entitlement as adults to unemployment benefit and housing benefit as we don’t get special discount and our lifestyle ‘costs just the same’.

Liz Kendall

Often seen as the ‘Blairite’ candidate, the MP for Leicester believes that young people are not just canvassers and leaflet deliverers and wants 16 and 17-year-olds to get a vote in the EU Referendum. Kendall believes that getting young people the right to vote begins with amending legislation in the Commons and then building on it from there. As well as this, 44-year-old Liz has big plans for young people within the Party as she wants to see more young Councillors and provide support and guidance for those who wish to be a Councillor but have no idea how to stand. While Kendall wants compulsory and quality citizenship education, she prioritises increasing the National Minimum Wage  for everyone, rather than making it equal for young people.

To read the candidates’ policies for young people in more depth, click here. Ballot papers will be posted to all Labour members on 14th August and must be returned by 10th September.

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