By-election 2023: What we know about Keir Mather, the new youngest MP in the Commons

Posted By: Sophia Andrew

Posted On: July 21, 2023

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New Labour MP Keir Mather made a joke when he was asked about becoming “the Baby of the House.” He said he had heard worse things before, so he didn’t mind.

Keir is only 25 years old, and he won the election in the North Yorkshire area called Selby and Ainsty, even though the other candidate had a big lead of 20,000 votes.

After the results were announced at Selby Leisure Centre, Keir spoke to reporters. He said that as a young person in politics, he wants to be a representative for the power that young people have to make a positive impact and change things for the better.

When people asked Keir Mather if he could really understand what voters worry about at his age (25 years old), he replied, “Of course! I’m a taxpayer just like everyone else, so I know how it feels to have pressures too.”

After the election results came out, Tory veterans minister Johnny Mercer made fun of Keir. He compared him to a character from a TV show called The Inbetweeners, which is about teenagers.

Mercer said Keir was like a typical MP who just repeats what the Labour Party says without thinking for himself.

After winning the election by more than 4,000 votes, Mr. Mather shared his first important plan. He wants to create financial support centers in the area where people can go to get expert help with things like paying their mortgages and energy bills.

Mr. Mather also told reporters that he agrees with the leader of the Labour party, Sir Keir Starmer, about keeping the two-child benefit cap. Some people are not happy with this decision, but he supports it.

He mentioned that the country is facing big economic problems because of the actions of the Conservative party. So, when Labour takes power, they will have to make tough decisions to fix things. He’s backing the Labour government in making those decisions to make things better for everyone.

Before becoming an MP, Mr. Mather had some important jobs. He worked as a senior public affairs adviser for the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

And before that, he was a parliamentary researcher for someone called Wes Streeting, who is the shadow health secretary. He did this from 2019 to 2020. These experiences helped him understand how things work in politics and how to help people effectively.

Mr. Mather was born in Hull and grew up near Selby. He went to Oxford University and studied history and politics there. His campaign for the election was supported by two big unions called GMB and Unison.

When he won the by-election, Mr. Mather gave a speech to thank everyone. He said he understood how big this victory was.

He mentioned that they showed that Labour can win in places where it wasn’t expected. People welcomed them and liked their positive ideas for the future.

He also said that the people of Selby & Ainsty had a clear message: They were tired of the Conservatives not doing enough for them, both in their local area and in the government.

But now, things were going to change, and he was determined to make a difference for them.

Mr. Mather said that during the past few months, he talked to many people at their homes. He found out that lots of them were facing tough times. The problems they had were made worse because the Conservatives didn’t do much to help for 13 years.

But, a senior Tory MP named Johnny Mercer tried to make the Selby election seem less important. He made fun of the new Labour MP, Keir Mather, who is only 25 years old, by comparing him to a TV show called The Inbetweeners.

Mercer said we shouldn’t let things become like The Inbetweeners, meaning that we shouldn’t let inexperienced people lead.

He talked about Mather going to Oxford University more than working a job, and he said Mather just repeats what Labour says without thinking for himself. Mercer thinks people have had enough of that kind of politician.

After Mr. Mather gave his speech, a Labour peer named Baroness Chapman replied to Johnny Mercer’s comments. She said that Mercer was being rude to the people who voted in Selby.

Once Mr. Mather was done speaking, the Conservative candidate Claire Holmes, who didn’t win the election, left without talking to reporters.

Mr. Mather talked about what people cared about the most during the campaign. He said that the biggest problem people talked about was the cost of living, how expensive things are.

When asked if people were voting for Labour because they liked them or because they were upset with the Tories (Conservatives), Mr. Mather was honest.

He said that many people in the area were really frustrated because their previous Conservative MP, Nigel Adams, stepped down. So, some of them voted for Labour because they had a plan to solve the problems that concerned them.

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