A TEENAGER is rubbing shoulders with the country's leaders to promote young people's opinions.

Stephen Canning, 17, is the youngest member of the Youth Crime Steering Group, which advises the Home Office.

As a member, the Colchester Sixth Form College student regularly attend meetings at the Home Office with officials to discuss issues about young people and crime.

Stephen, of Mountbatten Road, Braintree, said: "I am the only young person on these board (in fact the only one under 40 probably) and the youngest permanent member of the Home Office."

He is also on the board of directors for children's rights organisation the National Children's Bureau and is a member of the British Youth Council.

Stephen, who is studying A-levels, is chairman of the Braintree branch of Conservative Future and involved in the Department of Children, Schools and Young People.

Some of the projects he has been involve with are stricter drinking controls on young people, compulsory sex education in schools and compulsory politics education.

See Stephen's blog at http://thetoryboy.com