SOUTHAMPTON'S first-ever junior MP was selected among the full pomp of a formal election to represent the city in Britain's new Youth Parliament.

Daniel Fitzhenry, a pupil at St George Boys' School, was chosen by an electoral college of some 200 pupils representing the city's secondary schools and colleges at the Eastpoint Centre in Thornhill.

The teenager, from Chandler's Ford, was one of 20 city youngsters who stood as independents for a seat in Tony Blair's Youth Parliament - due to meet for the first time in Westminster next month.

Daniel's platform in the non-party political election is ensuring that the voice of young people is heard by traditional MPs and combating youth poverty and disadvantage.

Youngsters aged 11 to 18, who took part in the electoral college, heard presentations by the city's three MPs, Alan Whitehead, John Denham and Sandra Gidley, whose Romsey constituency includes Bassett, on issues such as citizenship, democracy and representation.

The candidates then gave short election addresses before the students voted, using polling booths and ballot boxes. The winner was formally announced by the council's deputy returning officer, Malcolm Dumper.

Peter Lewis, head of the city council children and young people's division, who opened the event, said: "There was a real buzz and the young people were very enthusiastic. "

Daniel, who said he was delighted with his new role, will have his constituency office at the city council education department in Frobisher House.

He said: "I am very happy that I have been given the job of representing young people of Southampton.

"I am keen to promote the prosperity of all young people in Southampton, reducing inequality wherever possible and encouraging opportunity for all."