A DORCHESTER teenager will be fighting for the rights of young people after being elected to represent Dorset in the UK Youth Parliament.

Dorchester Middle School pupil Grace van Zyl, 13, was among four people elected.

As well as taking part in national and regional sittings of the UK Youth Parliament, Grace and the other candidates will work to deliver their own manifestos for the young people of Dorset and will also sit on the Dorset Youth Council known as DYCE (Dorset Youth Council Enables). More than 12,400 young people in Dorset headed for the ballot boxes to vote in the UKYP elections.

The UK Youth Parliament is a national organisation that aims to give young people aged between 11 and 18, an opportunity to get involved in democracy and decision making at national and local level.

In Dorset the election process is managed by Dorset County Council and, this year, nine young people from across the county stood for election.

Chairman of Dorset County Council John Wilson announced the results.

He said: “I’m delighted to see four new members that cover a broad age range and I’m sure they will do a very good job.

“I’ve always been very impressed when I’ve watched the MYPs debating in the Houses of Parliament and I’d like to wish the new members every success and the very best of luck.”

The other Dorset winners were James Jones, 13, of Ferndown, Owen Shepherd, 11, of Wimborne and Cerys Pumphrey, 16, of Christchurch.