A Bradford MP is backing a campaign to boost young, first-time voting through community action.

Lib Dem David Ward has pledged support for My Voice, My Vote, a new all-party drive to encourage first-time electors to take social action as a way of stimulating interest in the democratic process.

The scheme will see young people trained in leadership skills and campaigning techniques in a bid to develop interest in their communities. They will also be urged to recognise the link between the future of their neighbourhood and use of the right to vote.

Youth voting has been falling since the 1970s.

Mr Ward (Lib Dem, Bradford East) said: “It benefits all of us if young people are engaged in politics and exercise their democratic right.”

Mr Ward said through his Get On The Bus tour last year, he had been trying to promote voter registration with young people in Bradford. “It’s essential if they are to have a voice in policy-making,” he said.