A YOUNG Andover politician has decided to step down from his role as a Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) for North West Hampshire.

Dmitrijs Meiksans, 18, who has been the MYP for Andover, Romsey and Basingstoke since March 2019 had an option to rerun for the role in March and continue until the day before his 19th birthday in October.

I thought it wouldn't be very fair,” he said.

“Also, I think it is quite important to give somebody else the opportunity. I think it was I've held the role for five years. I've done quite a lot during the five years. But I think it's one of those things where I have to leave for someone else.”

READ MORE: ‘I’m so proud to be able to come out’: Youth MP talks about his coming out story

Dmitrijs would complete his five-year term on February 28.

One of his main takeaways from his time as the MYP is that youth engagement is slowly evolving.

“It is a slow process,” he said.

“But government officials, decision-makers and policymakers from local, regional, and national governments are starting to slowly listen to young people. A lot of policies, unfortunately, still do not engage with young people, even though they affect them one way or another. The policymakers who are making those decisions, unfortunately, whether they like it or not, are not going to be in power in the next few decades. And it's down to us to lead the country and to be the civil servants.

“So I think it's essential that current policymakers allow future policymakers to have a say in what their future looks like.”

Andover Advertiser: Dmirijs Meiksans at the House of CommonsDmirijs Meiksans at the House of Commons (Image: Contributed)

His term also included giving evidence to the parliamentary select committee on education during Covid and getting to speak at the Prime Minister’s despatch box the House of Commons in November last year.

Dmitrijs said he would miss the role “so much”.

“I don't think I would ever forget that surreal moment of standing at the House of Commons. It was incredible to be there where the likes of Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair once stood to address the nation.

“As an 18-year-old Latvian-born British immigrant, the more surreal it gets the more I think about it.”

Andover Advertiser: Dmirijs Meiksans at the House of CommonsDmirijs Meiksans at the House of Commons (Image: Contributed)

Although he is stepping down from the MYP role, he is not planning to shy away from the political spectrum.

SEE ALSO: Andover firm Venture Security wins Wiltshire council deal

He will continue to chair the county council’s youth forum.

Dmitrijs said he has had a lot of interest from a variety of local political parties.

“Lots of different leaders have asked me if I wanted to join. For me, it would be an honour to continue serving the residents of Andover. So, if the opportunity ever arose, absolutely yes! I would love to stand the local office or local government and continue to do the work that I have been doing over the last five years.”