England's teenage footie stars could dodge national service

England's teenage footie stars could dodge national service

Cabinet hints at exemptions for young athletes

England's young football stars might be able to avoid compulsory national service, according to a Cabinet minister. Parents of 18-year-olds who skip the draft will also not face prosecution or fines, as hinted by Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride.

Labour criticizes Tory policy on national service

The Tory manifesto's plan for mandatory national service for all 18-year-olds faced criticism from Labour, who argued it could prevent talented football players from representing their country.

Opt-outs for certain groups

Speaking on a news show, Mr. Stride mentioned that there would be exemptions for specific groups of 18-year-olds, including potential opt-outs for "footie heroes" and vulnerable teens.

Teens incentivized through job applications

Teens who participate in national service could receive a job application boost through a "big tick" on their resumes, said Mr. Stride. However, he emphasized that the mandatory nature of the program would not lead to legal consequences for non-participation.

England's teenage footie stars could dodge national service

Social media impact on mental health

Mr. Stride also criticized social media companies for negatively impacting the mental health of young people, attributing the rise in mental health issues to the growth of technology like iPhones, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Farage open to deal with Rishi Sunak

In a separate development, Nigel Farage expressed openness to striking a deal with Rishi Sunak to support the Tories, suggesting that he had done the party many favors over the years and hinted at potential collaboration.