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From Wilmington to Westminster - Ground-breaking youth politics movement gains momentum

PUBLISHED: 15:05 01 June 2011

Ballot box

Ballot box

Archant

»It started in a classroom and within a year expanded to a national campaign attracting the attention of political heavyweights.

And now Bite the Ballot (BtB), established last April, is set to return to the Westminster corridors of power on Tuesday, June 14, with an Education Special.

MP Simon Hughes will be guest speaker and celebrity newsreader Alastair Stewart chairman for the latest event, expects to attract MPs and peers.

Launched by Wilmington Academy teacher Michael Sani, the grassroots scheme aims to bridge the gap between teenagers and politics by staging debates.

He said: “The campaign provides a great starting point for those who always felt they wanted to get involved but did not know how as well as for those who want to gain interest in politics.”

On Friday, June 17, a debate is planned for Wilmington Academy, with nine schools taking part. Dartford MP Gareth Johnson is to attend the event, due to run from 4.30pm to 6pm.

The academy is to be turned into a polling station on Friday, July 1, so students can vote on a “Green Policy”, which will give them a first taste of voting ahead of 2015 when they will be eligible to go to the polls.

Plans to create a series called BtB TV are under way with filming of a pilot scheduled for Maidstone Studio in July.

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