I've always been interested in politics and our political system. The idea that anyone can be elected to advocate for people and make decisions that change lives for the better is very powerful. That's why, ever since studying politics, from GCSE until my recent graduation, I've wanted to work in Parliament.
There's only one thing stopping me: I can't afford to work for free. I have funded myself through every stage of my education so far, working part time to make ends meet and continue my studies. However now I'm stuck in a Catch 22 situation. I can't get a job without experience and I can't get experience without getting a job.
Unpaid internships in Parliament are slamming the door on people like me. This week IPSA, the body responsible for deciding what MPs earn, is expected to announce that MPs should get a pay increase of over £10,000, while recommending that interns in Parliament should get paid nothing.
This means that people like me are locked out of the political system. London is an expensive place to live. I can't afford to do an unpaid internship, and so my chances of getting a job are very slim.
Instead of spending £10,000 on MPs salaries, IPSA should give each MP an "intern allowance" to allow them to employ someone like me on a paid internship.
If you think young people deserve a chance at making a difference more than MPs need a pay rise, sign this petition to send a message to Professor Sir Ian Kennedy, the Chair of IPSA and John Bercow MP, the Speaker of the House of Commons.