Last night’s triple by-election not only produced three new MPs – but also a new “baby of the house”.
At 25, Labour’s Keir Mather became the youngest person in the House of Commons.
But within hours of his victory, he faced criticism from an older, more experienced minister Johnny Mercer is comparing his generation of politicians to The Inbetweeners..
The Conservative MP said that while “it’s always good to bring new people into politics… you have people who have actually done the job”.
“This guy has been more than employed at Oxford University,” he told Sky News.
The average age of MPs is 51 years.
But despite Mr Mercer’s concerns, MPs are not getting any younger.
The average age of an MP in the last general election in 2019 was 51 years.
It was the lowest in recent years since New Labour’s landslide victory in 1997 – when the figure was 49.3.
But it has remained around 50 since the late 1970s.
Since then the House of Commons has been dominated by middle-aged people.
At the last election, more than half of MPs (57.8%) were aged between 40 and 59, with almost a third (30%) more in the 50 to 59 bracket.
Of the 16 by-elections we’ve had since then, all but one has resulted in a younger person being elected.
The exception was Samantha Dixon, 57, who took over the City of Chester for Labor after 55-year-old Christian Matheson resigned over allegations of sexual misconduct.
However, new MPs, whether voted in general elections or by-elections, are generally younger than their predecessors.
Young MLAs are resigning.
While the title of homemaker carries none of the rights or responsibilities of stay-at-home moms and dads, it does come with challenges.
Young MPs are still in the minority. Currently, only 3.5% of them are under 30 years of age.
The SNP’s Mehri Black made history when she became the youngest MP to be elected since 1832 at the age of 20 in 2015.
But earlier this month he announced. He will come down At the next election, she was “tired” of the “toxic atmosphere” at Westminster, telling the Newsagents podcast.
Ms Black, now 28, described it as “one of the most unhealthy workplaces” where “unfriendly hours” mean “it feels like you’re spending a lot of your life there” and you “can never really switch off”.
Dehna Davison, the 26-year-old Tory MP elected for Bishop Auckland in 2019, is also already stepping down.
She told Sky News she had faced “a deluge of derogatory comments” as a young MP but said the Commons needed “people from all walks of life”.
Nadia Whitum, former daughter of House Took several months away from his job. As Labor MP for Nottingham East as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Although her ill health was not related to her job, she said it was “impossible” to manage it alongside her parliamentary duties.
He told Sky News the lack of younger MPs was “not surprising”.
“Considering all the challenges we’re on the receiving end of, whether it’s insecure housing, work, or tens of thousands of student debt, I think those are all barriers to political participation,” he said.
Lack of experience – regardless of age
The figures also show that although most MPs are over 40 – the majority are still relatively inexperienced – regardless of age.
The majority of MPs elected in 2019 had less than five years of parliamentary experience – with only 11% in parliament before 2001.
Ms Whittom added: “I think it’s great that we have people from diverse backgrounds in Parliament – and it’s not just people who already have parliamentary experience, it’s teaching assistants, nurses and teachers.
“I’m always asked if someone in their 20s has enough life experience to be an MP and the answer I always give is that my generation has a lot of life experience that most MPs don’t.
“We grew up on austerity and spent years in the odd flat share with no hope of owning our own homes.
“I have never doubted myself or my ability to be able to represent my constituents because of my age.”
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Sink survived a 3-0 defeat in the bye-election.
Asked what advice she had for the new baby in the House, she said: “I’m really excited to not just be a Gen Z MP.
“I would say the most important thing is to be confident and remember why you went into politics.
“I also found it useful to develop relationships with colleagues who have been in Parliament for a long time – because you don’t get much guidance on setting up your office or running your team.”
During his campaign, Mr Mather said his age meant he could relate to younger voters struggling with the cost of living and housing crises.
Speaking to Sky News, his mother Jill Tambros cited her experience as a senior public affairs adviser at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and as a parliamentary researcher for shadow health secretary Wes Streeting.
“He doesn’t look like he’s 25,” she said. “He’s confident, he’s mature, and he’s got a good head on his shoulders.
“He’s done a lot of things. He’s also had a lot of jobs like working in a cafe, selling paella on the street, cutting meat in a butcher’s van, and all kinds of jobs.
“So, you know, he’s seen something of life… it’s not like he’s never done anything. I think he’s got a lot to offer.”