Don’t just accept what people tell you, says MP

David Simpson MP (left) with Jonathan Buckley MLA.
David Simpson MP (left) with Jonathan Buckley MLA.

Upper Bann MP David Simpson has offered some sage advice to local MLA Jonathan Buckley ahead of a global conference for ‘future leaders’.

Mr Buckley won the chance to join a group of 50 young people from around the world for a programme of policy and leadership development organised by the British Council.

‘Future Leaders Connect’ participants meet former world leaders, ambassadors, media chiefs and policy makers from Whitehall and the UN, plus a visit to No. 10 Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament on their nine-day programme.

The local MLA was one of more than 11,000 young people from around the world who applied for a place on the programme this year.

Future Leaders Connect offers participants nine days of training in the leadership and policy skills they need to turn innovative ideas in to tangible policy recommendations.

“It’s great to see young people taking an interest in politics and the world around them,” Mr Simpson said.

“My first bit of advice to young people wanting to be involved in politics would be to follow your vision and don’t just accept what people tell you.”

Sir Ciarán Devane, the Chief Executive of the British Council, said: “An international outlook is vital for the future leaders of all countries, if they wish to overcome the challenges they will face.

“Through Future Leaders Connect the British Council will help a new generation to understand practical policy development by putting them in contact with the leaders of today. The programme will help them to develop the skills and international contacts they need to make positive change in their countries.”