General Election 2015: Staffordshire’s young candidates set their sights on Westminster

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The average age of an MP is 50, but Staffordshire politicians Sam Hale and Sam Gibbons are trying to buck this trend in the General Election.

One born-and-bred Staffordshire 22-year-old standing as a Labour Party candidate in his home constituency of Stone is certain that his age does not matter.

Business owner Sam Hale from Cheadle is standing against his established Conservative rival Bill Cash, who is 52 years his senior.

Mr Hale, who has been in the Labour Party since he was just 16, said: “My age helps me to bring local politics into the 21st Century.

Young election hopeful Sam Hale in Stone

Young election hopeful Sam Hale in Stone

“Some people say at first that I am too young, but once they can see what I know about the local area, they see me differently.

“I think it is so important to live in your constituency, growing up here and knowing what goes on made me want to represent my constituents.”

Another young man trying to challenge the old guard is teenage parliamentary hopeful Sam Gibbons.

19-year-old student and parliamentary candidate, Sam Gibbons

19-year-old student and parliamentary candidate, Sam Gibbons

The 19-year-old, originally from Stockport, is standing as a Green Party candidate for Newcastle-Under-Lyme.

Studying Human Geography and Environmental Studies at Keele University, Sam is juggling a hectic political campaign with an equally hectic first-year study schedule.

He said he was still going to lectures and doing all essays leaving his exam revision for exams until after the election on May 7.

Mr Gibbons said: “Being a young person means I have something different to offer.

“I am the only one standing who knows what it is like to be on a zero-hours contract, or to have taken GCSEs.

“I am used to talking about politics with people of all ages.”

If either Mr Hale or Mr Gibbons is elected they would become the youngest elected MPs in the House of Commons.

Mick Temple, Professor of Journalism and Politics at Staffordshire University said politicians should have a breadth of experience and ages.

He added: “What we need is young people and people of all ages who have worked in industry and communities.”

You can see all the candidates standing in Staffordshire here

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