The town’s MP has come in for criticism after swearing during an interview at the idea of 18-year-olds being selected to stand as MPs.
Critics say it shows the MP does not have a good view of young people getting involved in politics. But the MP said that was not the case and he remained very supportive of getting young people engaged in politics.
Mr Lloyd was speaking during an interview with SQ, an Eastbourne-based independent youth culture magazine.
He was being quizzed by Corey Pellat, the 22-year-old editor, about whether young revolutionaries could change the course of our country via standing for election in 2015.
In a bid to discover what it takes for a young person to change UK politics, Corey asked Stephen Lloyd for his views on whether 18-year-olds should be chosen to stand as candidates and the MP is heard to reply, “Dear God! What do I really think? I think that is such utter s**t.
“If I was 18 and a political party chose an 18-year-old, who has no experience of life at all, to be an MP just because they’re 18, I wouldn’t vote.
“Even though I’m passionate about fairness and equality, that sort of tokenism literally makes me want to spontaneously combust.
“It’s just so unserious.”
Chairman of Eastbourne Conservatives Ian Lucas said, “Apparently our MP thinks it’s OK to use words like s**t, cretin, b*****d and scumbag when giving an interview. Whether I agree with him politically or not, this sort of language from an MP is wrong.”
The row evolved after Labour selected an 18-year-old university student to contest the next general election in Bath and North East Somerset, where the sitting MP has been in office since before his challenger was born.
Ollie Middleton, who grew up in Bath, will be 20 when he competes for the seat, where Liberal Democrat Don Foster holds a strong majority.
Mr Lloyd said, “I think selecting an 18-year-old is tokenism and I find that exasperating.
The interview is at www.sqmagazine.co.uk/2014/02/want-mp-student-join-commons/