Hi James, can you tell us who you are and what you do?
Hi Haigh. I’m 16, a local sixth-form student at Titus Salt School, Editor and Founder of Bradford’s The Local Leader Magazine as well as a local Labour Party politician.
You were very active in the recent election campaign, how did you find the experience?
I found it different to anything else I’ve experienced! I went to my first election count and met some fantastic people – both of the same political persuasion and not, which was rewarding after all the exercise I had had delivering leaflets and knocking on doors!
It’s unusual for someone so young to be so active in business and politics, where do you think your motivation comes from?
I think it came from my family, who aren’t even particularly political! I was taught that you should always stand up for what you believe in – and that is always what I have tried to do. People have often asked if age is a barrier, but I think that as long as you always try to do something positive then it shouldn’t matter who is doing it or how old they are.
Who is your biggest influence?
In business – Lord Sugar. I like the no-nonsense approach and use it on every occasion! In politics – columnist Owen Jones and MP Dennis Skinner.
What is your proudest achievement?
Probably my campaign to save Eccleshill Treatment Centre in April 2014. My local NHS treatment centre was faced with potential closure so I started a campaign – and got 3,000 people behind it and an appearance on BBC Look North.
What plans do you have for the Local Leader magazine in the next 12 months?
To keep on growing it! Local businesses have been so supportive over the past 3 years and allowed us to extend our readership so much in that time. Now established as a formal business and with an ever-increasing number of contributors and advertisers, it should be exciting to see it grow over the next year!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
The toughest question! I’ll have finally done my A Levels and possibly a degree by then, and would hopefully be in some job that combines politics and business either in Bradford or London!