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Students ‘hungry for change’ as NUS manifesto is launched

Zamzam Ibrahim, the NUS president, said the voices of students had been ignored on the issue of Brexit.

The student voice will be closely watched (Chris Ison/Dominic Lipinski/PA)
The student voice will be closely watched (Chris Ison/Dominic Lipinski/PA)

By Mike Bedigan, PA

Students will not let their futures be torn apart by “ignorance and cowardice”, the president of the National Union of Students (NUS) has said.

Zamzam Ibrahim told supporters that students have “never been more hungry” for change, as she addressed them via Facebook live stream at Brunel student’s union in Uxbridge, which is Boris Johnson’s local constituency.

Her speech on Wednesday marked the launch of the NUS manifesto which is titled When Students Lead.

The manifesto claims students’ voices have been “ignored” on the issue of Brexit and says that the NUS, which is made up of 600 students’ unions across the UK, will campaign to end the process “in the public interest”.

“We’re collectively saying to politicians, whichever party they represent, we’re not going to stand by and let ignorance and cowardice tear our future to shreds,” said Ms Ibrahim.

“We’re going to fight for this election, we’re going to have our voices heard.

“We have never been more ready, more hungry, more desperate, more committed to take control of the script and own our collective future.

“Politicians need to wake up and show courage.

“They need to follow where students have led and act urgently.

“If their not willing to do so, then they’re not fit to lead and are not worthy for our votes.

“So I say to every party, to every candidate: students are ready, and we’re angrier than ever.

“We won’t be put off by dates or distractions.

“On December 12, we’ll be voting because this election is the election of our lives.”

Speaking to PA Ms Ibrahim said the Government had shown a complete disregard for students.

“I think there has been a clear attempt to stop students from voting, to disenfranchise students and so to me this was an important part of coming down to his constituency and making sure that we make the noise around students.

“There has to be a bold stance. For me, this election is make or break.

“What we need are leaders that understand what students stand for, and to fight for students.”

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Boris Johnson at Uxbridge Library (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Opinions on whether Mr Johnson will be able to retain his seat in the constituency are divided due to the strong drive by Labour candidate, Ali Milani.

Mr Milani, 24, was the Brunel student union president, before becoming a vice-president of the NUS.

Awais Khan, current vice president of the Brunel student union, said that many younger voters are looking for change.

“(They’re) looking for something new, something fresh that’s why Ali (Milani) has enticed them, but a lot of the traditional, older folk will probably still vote for Boris, so it’s unclear,” he said.

Mr Johnson officially launched the Conservative Party’s General Election campaign earlier on Wednesday outside Downing Street.

PA

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