When Nicky Wishart began a campaign to save his popular local youth club from closure, he might have been praised for showing the type of community-minded spirit that his local MP, David Cameron, has championed since he entered Downing Street. In fact, the 12-year-old’s reward for attempting to rescue the centre – a small, brick hall in the leafy Oxfordshire village of Eynsham – was a visit from the police.
After his plans to hold a small protest outside the constituency office of Mr Cameron were spotted by anti-terror officers on Facebook, Nicky was pulled out of a lesson and warned by police that he would be held responsible if any violence broke out. Without his mother with him, he was frightened. “It was terrifying,” said Nicky. “I was told that I could be arrested if there was any trouble at the protest. I was also told that I could be arrested even if I decided not to go myself. I didn’t know what to do.”