British Youth Council ‘sacks’ Honourary Presidents for betraying young people

At Saturday’s Annual Council Meeting in London, the British Youth Council (BYC) voted against adopting two of its three Honorary Presidents in protest at their voting record on tuition fees.

Jo Swinson MP (LibDem), whose Presidency was up for renewal, and Aiden Burley MP (Conservative), whose nomination was new, were rejected by the conference. Both voted for the bill to triple fees on December 9th,  while students demonstrated outside and occupied their campuses. Swinson broke an explicit election pledge to vote against any rise in fees. The debate also focussed on the Coalition’s scrapping of EMA.

By its consitution, BYC must have an Honourary President from each of the three main parties, and the decision to reject the Libdem and Tory nominees was almost unprecedented.

Speaking against the nominations, an NCAFC activist said: “Jo Swinson is actively complicit in one of the biggest betrayals of young people in generations. She is part of a party that is part of a government that has tripled tuition fees, abolished EMA and betrayed young people… It would be ridiculous to make her an Honourary President of the BYC.”


Note: The British Youth Council ( is an umbrella network that represents millions of young people in the UK.

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