The new vice chair of youth for the Conservatives says he faces “a huge challenge” in trying to get the party to appeal to young people.
Ben Bradley, the Conservative MP for Mansfield, is the first person to hold the newly-created role.
Bradley is now a supporter of Britain’s exit from the European Union. Writing in an opinion piece for Brexit Central website in July 2017, Bradley described himself as originally a “reluctant Remainer” who turned into a “confident Brexiteer” after seeing the European Union’s reaction to the ‘leave’ vote, consulting Conservative MEPs, and considering the views of the 72% of the town’s voters who were in favour of exiting
The 28-year-old was appointed on Monday in Theresa May’s reshuffle.
He adds: “We really struggle to sell what we are trying to achieve.”
The Conservatives struggled to win young people’s votes in last year’s general election.
“If the trends continue from 2017 in terms of young people, people from ethnic minorities who just don’t vote for us,” says Mr Bradley, “then we’re going to be in a mess.”
Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party appealed to young people partly through social media – something Bradley thinks his own party needs to improve on.
Celebrities, including a number of Grime artists, also came out in support of the Labour leader.
“We do need to make more of those people out in popular culture who are Conservatives,” says Bradley.
“We’ve seen Georgia Toffolo in the jungle. [We need] people like that who actually want to put this message across – and have a following and a different approach that, frankly, the average Conservative MP does not have.”