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NUS president demands 'new deal for the next generation'

Toni Pearce opens union's annual conference

National Union of Students (NUS) president Toni Pearce kicked-off the organisation’s annual conference yesterday by calling for a “new deal for the next generation.”

Ms Pearce opened proceedings by rallying members to look at today’s social and political issues through a different lens.

“We have a generation in crisis,” Ms Pearce said.

“We need to be positive and ambitious and stand not just against things, but to stand for things that will make a difference.”

The Liverpool conference is hosting over 1,000 student delegates from all over Britain.

And Ms Pearce — who is running for a second presidential term — introduced attendees to a new national strategy.

Her New Deal for the Next Generation motion proposes to lobby political parties on issues affecting young people in Britain, from work and education to community organising.

An amendment to the document called for tactics like occupations to be made central to a strategic  campaign against education cuts.

But it fell after Northern Ireland delegate Fergal McFerran argued that direct action could alienate students and voters.

Today’s elections for the NUS presidency are set to be controversial.

Candidate Jack Duffin is secretary of the Ukip’s youth wing, Young Independence.

In his manifesto he argues against the allegedly high numbers of university graduates and denouncing Commons frontbenchers as “irrational politicians.”

Thurrock Labour councillor Aaron Kiely and University of London Union vice-president Daniel Cooper are also running for the union’s top job.

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