Tories ‘give up trying with young people’ after quietly scrapping HQ role

Rishi Sunak chairs first Cabinet meeting following reshuffle

The Tories have been accused of further giving up on young people, after quietly shelving a job aimed at liaising with young party members.

The Vice Chair for Youth role was created by Theresa May in her 2018 reshuffle, when she revived the party’s youth wing in the wake of overwhelming support from younger voters for Jeremy Corbyn in the 2017 general election.

Since then it’s been filled by a slew of MPs including Ben Bradley, Tom Pursglove, Nigel Huddleston, Andrew Bowie, Bim Afolami and Sara Britcliffe.

Following the reshuffle a fortnight ago, the new party chairman Richard Holden confirmed the party’s 12 new vice chairs.

However none of them have been given the ‘youth’ portfolio within the party, marking the key young person’s role’s abolition after half-a-decade.

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The sign will prove worrying to young members of the party, with the Tories polling in single digits among the 18-24-year-old age range.

When probed about why the role has been scrapped, a Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) spokesman said the responsibility has been folded in among those of party chairman Richard Holden, rather than having a dedicated MP in charge of the issue.

They added: “All Vice/Deputy Chairman are expected to connect with their youth networks as they’re a fundamental part of campaigning.”

However Labour didn’t buy the excuse, and have accused the Tories of giving up on young people.

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Labour Party Chairwoman Anneliese Dodds told the Express: “The Conservatives have nothing to offer young people and now they’ve officially given up trying”.

“From being hammered by the cost-of-living crisis, to the hope of home ownership remaining a distant dream for too many, hardworking young people in Britain are being let down by this government.

“Only Labour will give Britain’s aspiring and ambitious next generation their future back.”

The commission of a dedicated MP to oversee the party’s youth wing was also picked up by one young member, who furiously commented: “CCHQ need to get a grip of the situation when it comes to young people in the Party, and start to empower and retain them. Rather than burying their heads in the sand”.

The Tory Party’s youth wing was shut down in 2015 following a bullying scandal that led to the suicide of one young activist, before being reconstituted in 2018.

While there is no vice chair for youth, other portfolios handed out by Mr Holden include campaigning, women, disability and diversity, candidates, local government, communities and veterans.

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