Standing as the Green’s youngest candidate, this 18-year-old general election hopeful is busy campaigning out in the City despite his father telling him he’s “not going to get his vote,” writes Anahita Hossein-Pour. Originally from a Conservative-voting family in Blackburn, Lawrence McNally...
Standing as the Green’s youngest candidate, this 18-year-old general election hopeful is busy campaigning out in the City despite his father telling him he’s “not going to get his vote,” writes Anahita Hossein-Pour.
Originally from a Conservative-voting family in Blackburn, Lawrence McNally broke the family trend during his second year at Runshaw College – which famous alumni includes Lib Dem leader Tim Farron – by joining the Greens.
“I was feeling disengaged with the whole political environment, we had the wave of elections, so I joined the Green Party because of that,” Lawrence told City Matters.
A year and half later, Lawrence has set his sights on MP for the Cities of London & Westminster, which he believes needs a “strong, progressive voice” in the wake of Brexit.
The City also became the fresher’s new home 10 months ago as he began studying Ancient History at King’s College London, but with his brother Harvey nearby (a hairdresser in Putney), Lawrence said it’s great for family support.
Hitting the campaign trail, Lawrence aspires to take on the same political style as London Mayoral candidate Sian Berry, who came third after Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith in the 2016 election.
“I think her campaign was really great, it wasn’t based on personal attacks, it was based on positive progressive values, I think it was a nice change to see in politics… that’s what the public really want to see.”
The newbie campaigner has rallied his university friends for the handing out of leaflets and door-knocking, spreading his message which includes plans to boost student representation in the City.
The candidate wants to scrap tuition fees and outstanding debts, much to the delight of the generation hit by the £9,000 hike.
McNally also backs a ratification referendum, the “Robin Hood” tax and, in the spirit of the Greens, an expansion of the cycle highways which he uses to ride to university.
From an Ancient History student’s point of view, Lawrence definitely sees the country in decline. He said: “We’ve got a Conservative government looking out for the 1%, if you want to contrast that to Ancient Rome I suppose you could.”
The aspiring politician diplomatically responded to the reoccurring question put to him, of what will happen to his university studies if he triumphs at the polling stations and is elected.
“I’d like to be optimistic and say I’m in this to win it, but I think we can cross that bridge if we come to it.”