Torrin Wilkins

Director of Centre Think Tank

Why I get involved in politics

There are two reasons I got involved in politics. The first is I grew up between Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire which means I had nature on my front door. It showed me why we need to protect the environment and that we need to do something about it.

The other reason I started to get involved in politics was just having more conversations about big political issues. Whether it was around the dinner table or in school I became really engaged and wanted to solve issues at a local level.

That meant I became more active in both local politics and I started a debating society at Melbourn Village College, my comprehensive secondary school.

Long Road Sixth Form College

During my time at Long Road I started to get more involved in politics. It gave me some practice with interviews including on both TV and radio with BBC Look East about Metro Mayors. I also made a speech about the US election in 2016 at the US embassy. This started the move from just looking at local issues to also focusing on national political issues. I’m now an Alumni of Long Road.

The EU referendum

My first big experience in politics was the EU referendum where I supported EFTA membership. This meant leaving the EU but staying in the single market. I split with the Liberal Democrats on the issue and with those in the Brexit campaign that supported leaving the Single Market. It was both the middle of the road option and the beginning of realising that there was an alternative path in politics.

Founder and Director of Centre

I created what would later become Centre just after the EU referendum. After taking what was a middle of the road approach during the referendum I found that I was middle of the road on more than just that. I couldn’t have done this without the support of some great people along the way.

Campaigning for the excluded

Perhaps the largest challenge since starting Centre was the pandemic. At that point we had only published a few papers and yet this issue was one which needed some real policy solutions. In the end I published three papers alongside some great co-writers and spoke at two events calling on the government to support more people.

Articles by Torrin

A drawing of big ben with an orange half-circle going through the clock. Below this is the word "Backbench".

Backbench:

Between August and November 2021 I wrote a weekly column for Backbench.

The date "1828" with a torch next to it.

1828:

I wrote three articles for 1828 looking at housing, justice and transport. These articles were published between 2019 and 2020.

Volteface:

I wrote for Volteface on “Why Centrists Should Support Drug Policy Reform”.

Young Fabians:

In 2022 I wrote about “Protecting Local Justice” following on from the Centre paper on the same subject.

Comprehensive Future:

I wrote about why we should abolish the grammar school and secondary modern system in 2020.

United Politics:

In 2019 I wrote about how we should fight climate change.

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