OUR MP wrings maximum publicity out of every opportunity, and his hosting students from Wharfedale school is no exception (Students quiz MP during Parliament visit, Oct 5).

I wonder if those student realise how damaging Julian Smith’s Tory government has been, particularly for young people. Investment in schools has been inadequate, leading to a chronic shortage of qualified teachers and many schools forced to use portacabins for classrooms. University fees have risen 300 per cent under the Tories. Housing costs are at an all time high, which hits the young particularly hard.

The tax burden is also at an all time high, as are NHS waiting times. The young people in Mr Smith’s photo won’t have the opportunity to live and work in EU countries, having been denied that privilege by the older generation, who did have that opportunity. We also have record national debt into the bargain. The only crumb of comfort is that we have a General Election around the corner, and it looks very much like the Tories' years in government, and possibly even Mr Smith’s days as our MP are numbered. That day cannot come soon enough.

Doug Clark, chair Skipton and Ripon Labour Party,