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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 January 2006, 19:21 GMT
Lib Dems get 'youngest' president
Oliver Smith
Oliver was voted into his new role by a unanimous decision
A 12-year-boy has made political history and become one of the youngest-ever local party presidents.

Oliver Smith joined Amber Valley Lib Dems in Derbyshire when he was eight. He became their president on New Year's Day after being elected in November.

He succeeds out-going president Keith Falconbridge, who being in his mid-50s, is more than four times his age.

He said he wanted to go straight into the adult section of the party in order to make a difference.

I don't know what's going to happen next and neither does he
Kate Smith, Oliver's mother

Oliver's mother Kate Smith, a Lib Dem member of Crich Parish Council, stressed there was no constitutional necessity for a local party president, but it was a good opportunity for her son.

"Ollie will shortly have to start GSCE coursework," she said. "The spark of the idea for him to become president from me and we discussed it at length. We decided that later on he'd be snowed under with GCSE work and sooner was better than later.

"He's very keen to get rid of Mr Blair and Mr Brown as soon as possible - this is one of his campaigning interests."

Campaign interests

But Oliver does not believe Charles Kennedy should go.

"I think he should stay until people definitely say they want him out. I think he's holding it together. I think he's good and I think he makes the right decisions," he said.

Other campaign interests include environment, energy and pollution issues, abolition of tuition fees and lowering the voting age to 16.

Oliver was voted into his presidential role by a unanimous decision at his local party's Annual General Meeting (AGM) last year.

It means he will be guardian of the local constitution for Amber Valley local party and there are rare instances in which the local executive would go to him for a casting decision - for example on arrangements regarding a change of venue for the local party's AGM.

His mother added: "I'm immensely proud. I don't know what's going to happen next and neither does he and we can only make sure that he has a secure family provision so that he can make good decisions for himself."

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