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HomeNews'I switched Lord Sugar's boardroom for Tory campaigning – trolls don't faze...

‘I switched Lord Sugar’s boardroom for Tory campaigning – trolls don’t faze me’

The Apprentice’s youngest contestant has issued a rallying cry for people his age to get out and vote in the summer’s General Election.

Ryan-Mark Parsons got to the eighth round of the hit BBC show at age 19.

And now, the 24-year-old has ditched Lord Sugar’s boardroom for the Tory campaign trail.

He said: “Some people dismiss me because of my background in reality TV but I want to show that you can have a background in reality TV and still be taken seriously in politics.”

He is currently canvassing for Conservative Parliamentary candidate Greg Smith in the new mid-Buckinghamshire constituency.

“I’m not naive – I know I still have a lot to learn on the campaign trail,” he said.

Mr Smith has become a political mentor figure for Mr Parsons.

He said: “We hit it off and we have got a really good friendship.

“I have been like a sponge during the election and been everywhere with him.”

Mr Parsons has been involved with campaigning and activism on a small scale for years.

He was recognised for his charity work by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and invited to a prestigious Buckingham Palace garden party before Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died in 2022.

Young Tories tended to be “shy” in displaying their beliefs, Mr Parsons argued.

He said: “There are a lot of closeted young Conservatives in my experience.

“Politics is so tribal that if you are a Conservative, you just get ostracised.”

“And I think a lot of that is due to social media.”

He said one of his recent posts had attracted thousands of “vitriolic”.

He said: “It’s completely hateful. So I think a lot of people shy away from admitting they are supporters of the Conservative Party because they do not want to receieve a lot of hate.

“Some of the interactions I have had with the Left have been really nasty.”

“That side of politics tends to teach about tolerance and inclusivity but if you do not agree with them politically or ideologically they are the first ones to attack you in the most malicious, callous ways.”

Young people’s enthusiasm for the politics of the Left began when Jeremy Corbyn was leader of the Labour Party, Mr Parsons argued.

He said: “I remember a large turnout of young people going to the polling stations.

“And he has this celebrity status at Glastonbury.”

Asked why young Brits felt so drawn to the Left when in Europe the right-wing surge witnessed in its latest EU elections was aided by the youth of some nations, he said: “The Tory Party is seen as the nasty party.

“And young people want to seem kind and virtuous. But they are not really living in the real world.”

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