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YouTube launches UK Politics Channel

January 21st 2008: YouTube today announces the launch of the UK Politics Channel

The new channel draws together content from political parties’ own YouTube channels to create a central resource where users can easily find online political content. The UK Politics Channel also gives users the opportunity to express their views on the issues which matter to them by posting their own video responses.

Commenting on the launch of the UK Politics Channel, Steve Grove, YouTube News and Politics Editor, said:

“YouTube Politics empowers, educates and connects voters and politicians in a way that was not possible before the emergence of online video. With the UK politics channel, everyday people can express their views, ask questions and be heard, while those in office can gain visibility for their message and showcase their personality.

“We are delighted to see that these UK parties are on YouTube and eagerly anticipate the direct dialogue around British politics.”

In a message on the new site, filmed to welcome its launch, the Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:

“This new YouTube channel gives a new generation the chance to have your voice heard on the issues you care about. And it gives political parties the chance to engage people who care about the world around them but have not become active in party politics. I think it’s an excellent innovation. I hope thousands of young British people will take advantage.”

Mr Brown ended by saying:

“The Internet has been the great force of the last decade for transforming political campaigning, and for opening up democracy. And this YouTube channel is another step on this important path.”

Leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron also welcomed the launch, saying:

“I’m delighted YouTube has set up this channel.

“Today more and more people are getting their view of the world this way: direct, unmediated communication – information straight from the source. In the 21st century we don’t have to rely on the large central organisations – governments and corporations and big media – to get our information.

“We rely, more and more, on each other: on the informal networks, global and local, which allow us to communicate freely and learn from each other without Big Brother interfering every moment.

“So I wish this channel every success and I look forward to seeing other politicians’ videos from around the world.”

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg said:

“Politicians could learn a lot from the whole ethos of YouTube, where everyone has a voice, and an equal stake. It shows what people can achieve when they’re given space and opportunity.

“This is a great opportunity for politicians of all parties to communicate directly with people throughout the world.

“Instead of expecting people to come to us, we need to go where people already are – including public spaces on the internet like YouTube. If we want to get more people – particularly young people – involved in politics then initiatives like this are absolutely vital. Unlike conventional broadcasting, we can also get instant feedback from real people, which is really exciting.”

The UK Politics Channel follows the launch last year of YouTube YouChoose ’08, a channel dedicated to the campaigns of the US presidential candidates, and the YouTube/CNN debates in the US – the first ever voter-generated primaries, where all of the questions were submitted as short videos posted to YouTube.

Other ways to get information about politics

Accompanying the launch of the YouTube UK Politics Channel today, Google is launching a number of gadgets. The gadgets are mini-applications which can be downloaded onto your iGoogle page.

The gadgets allow you to keep up with the latest political news, trends and videos, as well as MPs’ recent appearances and debates in Parliament through a gadget created by the charitable group mySociety based on their website.

Download the gadgets here:

For further information, please call the press office on 020 7031 3130