‘I love House nights and Red Stripe’: Meet the teenaged Labour candidate running for Bath
Homework and detentions are still recent memories for him
It’s often thought politicians are balding, middle-aged and paunchy.
They spend their evenings listening to Radio 4 with a nice glass of Merlot as their wives crunch Xanax in single beds, tearfully thumbing through Lynda Bellingham’s autobiography.
Step in Ollie Middleton, a second year at Westminster and the Labour candidate for Bath.
The 19-year-old studies politics and international relations, he’s too busy for a girlfriend and loves edgy house nights and smashing cans of Red Stripe lager.
He’s taking time out of his degree for his campaign and explaining to voters how his fresh face could invigorate British politics.
We spoke to him on the phone about how he balances uni and the General Election.
Ollie said: “The campaign is an asset not a hindrance to student life”
“I am at uni as well so obviously I do all the typical things that students do and I do find time to socialise and go out in London.
“I think it fits alongside that really well which is really good. I think the main thing is just to strike a balance, it is manageable so it’s ok.”
Ollie insists he’s a big fan of House and Garage nights and steers clear of drugs because of his place in the public eye.
“I’ve been to quite a few Swamp81 nights before, Swamp do nights around the country, they do nights in London.”
He’s quick to point out he steers clear of drugs at these events.
“Unfortunately yeah I’m in a position of responsibility and that’s brilliant but you know, not unfortunately, but it does mean that I’m not taking drugs at weekends.
“People experiment, but no I don’t in my position no, that would be completely inappropriate.”
Ollie wants to shake up student political engagement, and fix what he sees is a huge underrepresentation of young people in parliament.
“Our generation is the first generation since the World War facing a future of being worse off than our parents and I think that’s really massive.
“Young people don’t have a voice in politics, and not to say that I would be a voice for young people as young people want their own voice and that’s really important.”
The second year strongly supports Labour’s pledge on the graduate tax and feels betrayed by the Coalition’s trebling of tuition fees.
Although the average age of an MP is 50, baby-faced Ollie doesn’t think he’s too young to stand.
“People comment on my age quite often, but more often than not it’s quite positive.
“As a young person, I can bring a different perspective to the table.
“There will always be those who have an issue with young people involved in politics, you can’t please everyone whilst you can try.
“I think we need more young people doing what I’m doing, standing for candidates in politics.”
“Life experience comes in many different forms, that’s really important to remember, I don’t think life experience in the typical sense can be confined to something like a mortgage.”
Picturing his future, Ollie wants to settle down and find love.
He said: “As you can imagine a full time degree along and candidacy and fighting a political campaign, finding a time for a girlfriend is rather tricky at the moment. Not until after May anyway.”