Dudley MP Ian Austin was in Parliament this week to support the campaign to lower the voting age to 16.
Fair.Vote is a campaign which aims to equal the voting age across the UK to 16. Launched by Association of Colleges (AoC) and National Union of Students (NUS), it looks to bring together individuals and organisations from across the UK and politicians of all parties to allow 16 & 17 year old’s the vote.
A Private Members Bill introduced by Labour MP Peter Kyle is due to have its second reading in the House of Commons on 11 May 2018.
With Scotland already having a voting age of 16, and Wales potentially about to follow suit, the bill aims to stop England lagging behind other parts of the country.
David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said:
“Lowering the voting age to 16- and 17-year-olds is something that should be welcomed by politicians from across the political spectrum given the rise in young people’s participation in politics.
“With young people’s turnout astonishingly rising in the last General Election, it’s time to think boldly about enhancing Britain’s democracy and the future of our country. In this country you can marry at 16, you can pay taxes at 16, so what’s stopping you from having the right to vote?”
Ian Austin said:
“16 and 17-year-olds hold many responsibilities in our society, and extending the vote to them would engage them in the political affairs, current events, and democratic processes that impact their lives.
“Lots of young people in Dudley have got in touch to ask me to support this campaign so I’ll be backing this bill as it goes through Parliament.”