27/09/2011 10:46 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

16-Year-Old Given Standing Ovation At Labour Party Conference

Rory Weal, a 16-year-old from Maidstone, stole the show at the Labour Party conference, winning a standing ovation from thousands of party activists for his speech.

In scenes reminiscent of a teenage William Hague addressing the Conservative Party conference in Blackpool in front of Margaret Thatcher in 1977, Rory Weal impressed delegates with an impassioned speech that had Labour leader Ed Miliband jumping to his feet to shake his hand.

Rory, who lives with his mother Elaine, a single mother and administrator at a cleaning company, and eight-year-old sister Emma, had the week off school to attend the Labour conference in Liverpool.

He is studying four A-Levels - English literature, geography, politics and history having gained seven A*s and four As in his GCSEs.

As he walked off the stage to a standing ovation, delegates came up to shake his hand and give him a pat on the back.

Speaking afterwards, he said: "I think a lot of my friends are quite angry at what this Government is doing with tuition fees. It's important to get more young people involved."

Rory, who only joined the party after the last general election, said he did not know what he wanted to do after school but added he would "quite like to go into politics in the future".

In his speech, hailed as "brilliant" by shadow chancellor Ed Balls, the teenager tore into the government over welfare cuts and the abolition of the education maintenance allowance.

He said: "Two-and-a-half years ago, the home I had lived in since birth was repossessed ... I owe my entire wellbeing and that of my family to the welfare state. That is why I joined the Labour party.

"That very same welfare state is being ruthlessly ripped apart by a vicious, right-wing Tory-led government."

He continued: "I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for that system, that safety net. So I take this opportunity to plead with the government to reconsider their measures.

"Their measures for young people, which will divide a generation and seriously threaten the British promise that Ed Miliband has spoken about, where one generation does better than the last.

"Their measures on welfare, such as the housing benefit cap which will potentially make 40,000 people homeless and hammer the most vulnerable people in society."

Rory added: "It is up to us in the Labour party to create a vision of what a better Britain looks like. Let's get to work."

What an impressive young man! His mum must be very proud.