Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Youth parliament to sit in Commons

House of Commons
Young parliamentarians will get a chance to sit on the famous green benches.

On Friday, a unique event will take place in the hallowed chamber of the House of Commons.

Debates will be held on such hot topics as youth crime, the economy, university tuition fees, lowering the voting age, and public transport - but for once it won't be MPs doing the talking.

Instead 300 members of the UK Youth Parliament have been granted permission to sit on the famous green benches.

MPs voted in March to allow the junior parliamentarians, known as MYPs, to sit in Commons for one day of debate.

Although both the government and the opposition frontbenches supported the move, there was stiff opposition from some backbenchers and the motion allowing MYPs to use the chamber had to be moved several times before it was approved.

The Youth Parliament was established in 1999 and provides opportunities for teenagers to use their voice to bring about social and political change.

MYPs are elected annually from across the UK and anyone aged 11 to 18 can vote or stand as a candidate.

Last year the UK Youth Parliament met in the House of Lords chamber.

Recorded coverage of the UK Youth Parliament sitting in the House of Commons will be shown on BBC Parliament at 1630 on Friday 30 October.

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