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Here's Why Some Young People Are Encouraging Their Peers To "Bun The Tories"

"It may seem like a small gesture but it's a step towards getting more youngers engaged in politics and that's a massive deal," one 20-year-old told BuzzFeed News. "One sticker at a time."

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A group of five young people are canvassing for Labour by sending out "Bun the Tories" stickers and badges to young people all across the UK from Bristol to Kent for free. So far they have posted out thousands of items.

Sophia Tassew
Bun The Tories / Instagram

Sophia Tassew

Group member Milly Rigby, from London, told BuzzFeed News the result of the EU referendum had been a "massive wake-up call" that motivated them to get involved in politics.

"The people in my community really couldn't believe it," she said, referring to the referendum result. When Theresa May called a snap election, Rigby and her friends knew they wanted to do something to encourage young people to engage as voters. Their Bun the Tories Instagram account is full of political memes using cultural figures like DJ Khaled.

Polling firm Ipsos estimated that the turnout of people aged 18-24 in the 2015 general election was just 43%. In contrast, for those over the age of 65 the figure was 78%.

Rigby said the group bought thousands of items from a Manchester-based Etsy seller called Jermyn using money from their own pockets. All proceeds will go to a homeless shelter in Manchester, Rigby said.

Rigby said the aim of the Bun the Tories sticker campaign was to capture the imaginations of "hard to reach" young people outside of London, including marginalised and underrepresented minorities.

Instagram: @thatmagna

Rigby said the group was united by "Jeremy Corbyn's offering of Labour". "Most of us had become disenchanted with New Labour and centre-right offerings," she added.

The team are also fans of Labour left-wingers like Diane Abbott and Dennis Skinner. Rigby described Abbott as "a phenomenal woman who has been around with Jez [and is as] ride or die as they come".

Polls show the Labour party is popular with younger voters, but while they could have an impact on the vote share, it is unlikely they can swing the election result in Corbyn's favour.

Rigby said she was opposed to the Conservatives because they "fuel and protect a system of corruption that's engineered so that a small group of elite power remains in control".

"We want a totally new way of managing the governing of our country," Rigby said, adding that she believes Corbyn is the only man for the job. "Corbyn is more human than any of these politicians."

One of the highlights of their campaign, Rigby said, was when Jermyn's goddaughter was pictured wearing a Bun the Tories babygrow alongside Jeremy Corbyn.

Instagram: @bunthetories

Nicole Krystal Crentsil, a 25-year-old digital marketing executive from London, is one of many Bun the Tories recipients. She told BuzzFeed News that she likes how witty the campaign is. “The use of the slang word ‘bun’ meaning forget or fuck ... is such a clever way in speaking to the younger audience by using words and phrases they share with each other," she said.

Nicole Krystal Crentsil

“Having read most manifestos I couldn’t scream ‘Bun the Tories’ even louder. I have supported Labour for some time now, minus my wild support for the Lib Dems whilst at university, but we can blame Nick Clegg’s epic betrayal for my return to supporting the Labour party."

Big love to @bunthetories arrived just in time to put around my ends! Thank you 💫💫 Don't forget to REGISTER to vot…

Crentsil added: “As a 25-year-old employed, mortgage-less, student debt–ridden young adult professional. I fully support and trust Jeremy Corbyn.

"I think a lot of young people need to fully read all manifestos to understand if it stands by their current lived experience. It’s easy to follow trends and opinions, and I really like how campaigns are employing us to read and research."

Sophia Joannides, a 20-year-old student from London told BuzzFeed News the Bun the Tories campaign really spoke to her and said she's been spreading the stickers around Birmingham to raise awareness. “Being the child of two extremely hardworking immigrant parents I have pretty much always been adversely anti-Tory, so their social media caught my eye very quickly," she said.

Sophia Joannides

"I think before this election I was more 'anti-establishment' than 'pro-Labour', simply because I didn't feel that any political party reflected my views wholeheartedly," Joannides said.

"But with Corbyn now fronting the party I have no qualms about promoting Labour, because I genuinely don't think we'll see another politician like him any time soon, if at all."

"Corbyn is dedicated to social change, and the same just can't be said about May," she said.

Sophia Joannides

"It may seem like a small gesture but it's a step towards getting more youngers engaged in politics and that's a massive deal," she said. "One sticker at a time."

Victoria Sanusi is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Victoria Sanusi at

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