A regional branch of the Liberal Democrats has elected a 17-year-old as their youngest ever chairman – even though he is not yet old enough to VOTE.
Youthful Alasdair Wood will lead Worcester Liberal Democrats after their previous leader stepped down following national party’s decision to join a coalition government led by the Conservative Party.
The teenager replaces Alex Kear (corr) , who quit the party saying Nick Clegg had committed an “unforgivable sin” by going into Government with the Tory party.
Mr Wood, who is currently studying for AS levels at Worcester Sixth Form College, was elected by the local party executive committee on Wednesday.
He described the role as “a great honour” and said he, unlike Mr Kear,
supported Nick Clegg’s decision to form the coalition Government.
Mr Wood said: “I am very excited about how our local party is growing,
but am most excited about the elections and campaigns we have to fight.
“I’m a centre-left progressive and a lot of us have always had a dislike
for the Tories but the reality is we had a choice between an unstable
Labour coalition or a minority Tory government.
“We saw that instead people wanted us to work together. Rather than
being on the outside shouting at the Government, we are now on the
“We’ve got through the increase in the personal allowance, we’ve got
agreement on voting reform and we’ve got agreement on key environmental policy. After such a long time, the party now has a say in governing the country.”
The Liberal Democrats’ local party executive committee elected Mr Wood having informally sounded him out beforehand, and he will now stand for the committee chairman’s position in October.
Councillor Sue Askin (corr) , leader of the Liberal Democrats’ group on
Worcester City Council, added: “He is a remarkable young man who has had more practical experience of campaigning than most party members four times his age”.
Kear, a lifelong Lib Dem supporter and former councillor, has now joined
the Green party. Speaking after he stood down, he said: “I have stuck
with the Liberal Democrats my entire life but I can’t do it when they
have betrayed my confidence.”