The youngest candidate in the upcoming London Assembly election says “more young people need to get involved in politics”.
Standing in the Greenwich and Lewisham constituency, Liberal Democrat candidate Chris Annous is just 22, making him the youngest candidate in this year’s election.
The Oxford graduate, who studied alongside activist Malala Yousafzai, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that “sometimes you’ve got to be the change that you want to see” ahead of his bid to be elected to the London Assembly.
Mr Annous said: “A lot of people my age and my generation have felt disenfranchised with some of the decisions that have been made and imposed on us.
“I joined the Liberal Democrats after the Brexit referendum. I was too young to vote back then. That started it, but I never thought about standing as a candidate until the summer.”
The Government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the Black Lives Matter movement, according to Mr Annous, were two of the main catalysts that led him to run for the London Assembly.
He said: “Everyone my age was demanding change, but no change was happening. And, for me, it’s a symptom of how young people and our interests and values are being completely ignored by the political establishment.”
The Liberal Democrat candidate added that “young people getting involved in politics is much needed” but “the main two parties, Labour and the Conservatives, often ignore young people”.
On May 6, Chris Annous will be hoping to unseat Labour’s Len Duvall, who has held the seat since the Assembly’s formation in 2000, when Mr Annous would have been one.
Also hoping to unseat the London Assembly Labour leader are Conservative candidate Charlie Davis, himself in his late 20s, and the Green Party’s Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, whose daughter Ella was found to have died from toxic air pollution by a coroner last year.
Reform UK candidate Edward Apostolides and independent Tan Bui will also be on the ballot for voters in Greenwich and Lewisham.