“THERE is definitely a new political generation coming in that is really keen to engage with politics, keen to push for independence, and keen for action on the climate,” Cameron Eadie says. “In a way, I represent that group as well in this by-election.”

The 20-year-old candidate is standing for the Scottish Greens in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election. But he says he is speaking for “a whole new political generation” that has been awakened since the 2014 referendum.

“Since then, I believe there is a shared feeling, a frustration at the lack of action from people like Boris Johnson, lack of action on things like climate.

“It's my future I'm standing up for. I want to be able to turn around to my children and say, look, I did my best, I did try, and I think that resonates with voters.”

READ MORE: The 14 candidates standing in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election

Eadie is still studying a masters in social science and public policy at Glasgow University, but he insists that being an MP is “definitely” a job for someone his age.

“When we talk about representative democracy, we need to look at our parliament as a society,” he says.

“We can’t say, we're going to exclude one demographic of people, in this case young people. That's not fair or representative.

“Parliament should reflect the people that it represents – and 20-year-olds work and pay tax. We vote, we can join the army. We can get married, we can have kids. We deserve to be represented.

“You know, I challenge you to find me a young person in Scotland that couldn't do as good a job as the likes of Liz Truss. The bar isn't high.”

READ MORE: Keir Starmer confirms Labour will honour Tories' approval of Rosebank oil field

Eadie was speaking to The National just hours after news broke that the UK Government had approved the Rosebank oil field. One of the largest untapped reserves in the North Sea, the site off Shetland could produce 9000 tonnes of oil every day, its owners say.

But while the Green candidate is predictably unhappy with the decision, his concerns are for more than just the climate.

“They’ve effectively signed a death warrant for thousands of people across the globe who are already experiencing the worst effects of climate change,” he says.

“We see that coming closer and closer to home. It's on our doorstep now and the UK Government, they don't really don't care. They're all about prioritising profit.

“Oil and gas workers really need the just transition into renewables. But because the UK Government has continued with new oil and gas licences, that's really stopping it and shafting workers as a result.”

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Eadie (above) further argues that the Conservatives are making the same mistakes as they did with Brexit.

He says: “We saw it with Brexit. They allowed Ukip, a right-wing fringe party, to really influence their decisions there.

“Now you've now got actors like Reform UK, which are pushing against net zero, and again, the Tories seem to be hearing that and following along.”

The young Green also took aim at Labour, accusing Keir Starmer’s party of being “happier to run away from a problem than face it head on or stand up for their own convictions”.

While there is no love lost with the Unionist parties, the Greens have a governing agreement with another of their rivals in the by-election: the SNP.

But Eadie claims it is the Greens who brought “the vote-winning policies” to the Bute House Agreement, listing free bus travel for under 22s as one of them.

READ MORE: Presenter forced to shush Tory MSP during clash with SNP MP on BBC's Debate Night

With the Rutherglen and Hamilton West election predicted to be tight between Labour and the SNP, every vote could make all the difference.

If Labour were to scrape a narrow win, would Eadie feel any responsibility for splitting the Yes vote?

“This seems to be a kind of recurrent theme,” he says. “People who are pro-independence really, really don't want a Labour win because many see it as an SNP-Labour two-horse race.

“I totally understand that, and I really don't want a Labour Unionist candidate in there …

“[But] the SNP are responsible for their own performance. The SNP are the masters of their own fate here in this by-election, for sure.”

Eadie goes on: “I think the climate is the single most important issue for people my age and the next generation to come. We've seen that in the past, unless there's a green voice, unless there's a green person standing, then the issue just doesn't get the justice or the air time that it deserves.”

But the Greens candidate is standing for more than just the climate. He has a focus on progressive policy which he traces back to his own experiences.

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Diagnosed with anorexia and bulimia while still in school, Eadie says that shows the importance of LGBT+ inclusive education.

“I really struggled with accepting that I was gay and that led to a lot of horrible feelings about myself,” he says. “That's why in this campaign I've been so vocal about what Labour are doing in South Lanarkshire council about inclusive education and for LGBT+ pupils in school.

“It's a really important issue for me. Young LGBT+ people seeing themselves reflected in their education can be the difference between whether they develop, as I did, mental illness just for being who I was.

“It can be transformative and often life saving, just being acknowledged and recognised and validated by something as basic as your education.”

Eadie says he is “disappointed and angry” that Labour have not embedded LGBT+ inclusive education in South Lanarkshire, adding: “It seems to have been quietly dropped and they think we're all stitched up the back and haven't noticed.”

READ MORE: First school in Scotland embeds LGBT education into curriculum

And time spent as a mental health support worker during the pandemic, aged just 16, also impacted his politics.

He says: “I remember during Covid a lot of my service users really struggled because the support was slashed and they were kind of left to go alone.

“It pushed me to fight for these people that didn't necessarily have a voice, or often felt their opinions or their situation were an afterthought.”

The Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election will be held on October 5. Eadie is standing for the Greens against Katy Loudon for the SNP, Michael Shanks for Labour, and Thomas Kerr for the Tories.