Photo: flickr /Dep. for International Development photostream

Student spoke before Theresa May at party conference

The Home Secretary Theresa May was introduced by first-year Warwick student Alexander Paul, who studies Politics and International Studies, at the conservative party conference last week.

The conservative party conference took place from 28 September to 1 October and was the final conference for the ruling party before the general election next May.

Mr Paul’s speech went out to the main conference room at the International convention centre in Birmingham to an audience of approximately 1,500 people.

He focused on the issues surrounding young black males and the police, specifically in his home town of Crystal Palace in South London. Mr Paul wanted his speech to highlight the fractious relationship between the police and residents in particularly ethnically diverse regions of London.

He had been in touch with Theresa May for the three months prior to the conference due to the common ground they both held over the issue.

They both feel passionate about ending excessive stop and search manoeuvres.

He isn’t prepared to just accept the norms of the world which gives us hope in the future – Theresa May

Despite having no criminal record, Alexander, as a teenager from 13 to 18, has been stopped and searched over 20 times by the police. He believes that the suspicion-fuelled relationship dates back to the 1980s riots such as those on the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham.

That event led to the death of PC Keith Blakelock, brutally murdered by those rioting. However the initial uprising came about due to the death of a woman, living on the estate, by heart failure after a police search of her house.

“There is still a hatred or fear of those who are meant to serve the community; this has been evident from generation to generation,” answered Mr Paul when asked about the current relationship between citizens and the police.

He added: “I feel the relationship between the police and youth has always been fractured”. In the future Mr Paul hopes to use his ability to speak publicly as a, “platform to inspire and uplift others”.

A keen performer of the spoken word and poetry, Mr Paul now feels the exposure given to him will be a massive boost to his chances of making the transition later in life to becoming a human rights lawyer.

Other first-year students have been impressed by Mr Paul’s achievement. “I think he was very brave at the age of 18 to be able to see the faults in society but also have the nerve to speak out at such a big event.

“He isn’t prepared to just accept the norms of the world which gives us hope in the future,” said first-year Politics, Philosophy and Economics student Anya Kundakchian. “He is an example to all young people,” she added.


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