LSE undergraduate James Slater will be standing for election as Labour Councillor for Hamstead Town on December 3rd. The 19-year-old social policy student will be the youngest candidate to have ever stood for the position, and if elected will be the youngest councillor in the history of Camden.
The budding campaigner, who professes to have been “active in the Labour Party since 14” wants to “bring youth to the table” in an historically Conservative dominated seat. As a self-proclaimed ‘Bradfordian’, James was involved in local politics in his home town and sees London “as a new start”. Living in Camden as a first year in halls meant that James was exposed to local issues and the Camden Council, which he wants to now be a part of.
As President of the Northern Society, Vice President of EcoSoc as well as being an Environment and Ethics officer at the Student Union, James has had to manage time between his political-activist life and his studies. Now James will have to strike a balance between campus and local politics.
Wanting to change perceptions, and ensure “the right people are in charge” for the “next generation”, James admits he finds that the LSE is a “strange university” as a select few who “shout the loudest” hide the lack of political engagement and interest of students as a whole. With an anaemic under 20% turnout for the SU elections, and with council election turnouts generally hovering at the same levels, James seeks to challenge voter apathy. He views political engagement as a responsibility; “no matter what you study and no matter who you mix with, politics affects everyone”. In running for councillor, he wants to contribute to the council who have “looked after you, educated you, provided services…throughout your childhood”.
The Hamstead Town election will be on the 3rd May, with results coming out around 5pm the day after. If James is elected he will be the first Labour councillor ever to have occupied the seat.