Carmen Smith: 'Activist' to become youngest peer - and she wants to scrap House of Lords

12 February 2024, 14:02 | Updated: 12 February 2024, 15:00

At 27 years old, Carmen Smith is about to become the youngest member of the House of Lords.

But the former chief of staff to the Plaid Cymru group in the Senedd does not "believe" in the institution.

Despite her belief, Ms Smith told Sky News the house needs "people in there speaking up for Wales".

"Ultimately, as a Welsh nationalist, I believe in an independent Wales and I believe we will have an independent Wales in my lifetime and then we wouldn't have the House of Lords and that wouldn't be for us to decide," she said.

"But ultimately I don't believe in the system of the House of Lords as it stands."

Ms Smith will be made a life peer after former Plaid Cymru leader Dafydd Wigley announced plans to retire from the Lords - keeping the total number of the party's life peers at one.

The current youngest member of the House of Lords is a former adviser to Boris Johnson, 30-year-old Baroness Owen of Alderley Edge.

While there is a "challenge ahead", it is a "really exciting" one for Ms Smith.

"There's a job of work to do, which I'm really committed to doing," she added.

"So just looking forward to being able to join the Westminster team and be a voice for Wales in Westminster."

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While Ms Smith has no direct parliamentary experience, she hopes her background will give her a fresh outlook.

"I am an experienced activist, I have lots of experience in terms of speaking for young people, in terms of matters on education and I have a track record of being a voice," she said.

"And also, just in terms of my life experience as well, as a young carer I grew up on a council estate on Ynys Môn called Llanfaes, and I think that would also give a different perspective in the institution."