A father from Barnes expressed his delight in learning that his son had been selected to attend Richmond's Pupil Parliament Day last week.

Daniel Daukes – a picture editor at Sky News, said he was "immensely proud", that his ten-year-old son Orlando met with councillors to debate and speak over political topics that surround children and young people under 16.

Mr Daukes said: “My wife and I were already immensely proud that Orlando had seen off all the competition at his school and been voted onto the Pupil Parliament.

“We were delighted when we subsequently heard that he would be acting as a councillor for the day and have the opportunity to voice his opinions directly to the mayor.

“He wrote his speech on why 16-year-olds should be given the vote completely unaided, and when I asked for a sneak preview, he delivered it with such conviction that I knew he’d make a great councillor.

“I think it is a fantastic idea to get children into politics and given the state of the world at this time a wholly sensible one.

Orlando – who attends East Sheen Primary School, was among nine other pupils who were chosen to be Councillors.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Orlando pictured with students from schools across Richmond and Richmond's Mayor.

He was asked to prepare a one-minute speech that would explain whether he thought under 16-year-olds should be allowed to vote in elections and to give his reasoning for his answers.

When asked how he felt when he met with councillors, Orlando said: “It was very exciting and quite unexpected.

“I have always wanted to become a film-director, but I’m also really interested in politics.

“If I were to become a councillor for Richmond - I would visit old peoples’ homes to see what improvements could be made and make things the best I could for our borough.

“I would also try to tackle air pollution and especially vehicle idling.”

After the ten student councillors gave their speeches - other students from schools across Richmond then questioned speakers before voting for a Pupil Parliament Mayor and a Pupil Parliament Deputy Mayor.

Orlando continued: “I think it’s very important for young people to learn as much as they can about politics and get involved in the place they live.

“The only bad thing I would say about Pupil Parliament Day is that it might have been more manageable with slightly less candidates, and a microphone would have helped some of the other children.

“Apart from that - I really enjoyed giving a speech in front of so many people, meeting the Mayor, and winning a medal.”

A student from Hampton Hill Juniors was eventually voted in to be the Pupil Parliament Mayor and a student from St Mary’s C of E was selected to be the Pupil Parliament Deputy Mayor.

Mr Daukes added: “Children of my son's generation are so much more aware of social and environmental problems than my generation ever was.

“Whilst they may not yet fully understand all the complexities and machinations of government, they do have the great advantage of youthful imagination to come up with solutions – unhindered by the jaded prejudice and reactionary sentiment that sadly pervades the thinking in so many adults.

“The sooner 16- year olds can vote the better.”