MP backs call to slash vot­ing age to 16

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SEFTON Cen­tral MP Bill Ester­son is back­ing a cam­paign to give the vote to 16-yearolds as Labour put the pres­sure on a weak­ened Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment in Par­lia­ment.

Mr Ester­son was in the House of Com­mons on Fri­day to vote for Labour MP Jim McMa­hon’s Pri­vate Mem­ber’s Bill to give the vote to 16 and 17 year olds, but Con­ser­va­tive MPs ‘fil­i­bus­tered’ by speak­ing at length in the cham­ber leav­ing no time for a vote.

Mr Ester­son said: “It is clear that the Con­ser­va­tives are so scared now of los­ing votes in the House of Com­mons, they talk for so long that no vote can take place.

“That is not democ­racy and it means im­por­tant pieces of leg­is­la­tion like votes at 16 are put at risk.

“Young peo­ple of 16 and 17 can join the Army and get mar­ried.

“They can pay tax and make choices about their ed­u­ca­tion, train­ing and work.

“They should also be able to vote.”

Kit Malt­house, Con­ser­va­tive MP for North West Hamp­shire, likened the need to pro­tect teenagers to the way they would be pro­tected from ac­tiv­i­ties such as gam­bling.

Mr Malt­house said: “It is gen­er­ally ac­cepted that gam­bling is bad for young peo­ple, in recog­ni­tion of the two stages of brain de­vel­op­ment in young peo­ple: the first prior to six, when 95% of the brain is formed, and the sec­ond dur­ing ado­les­cence, when enor­mous changes take place and when we have to take ex­treme care over how young peo­ple de­velop. The sci­ence is with us on this.

“The Bill would cre­ate the ridicu­lous sit­u­a­tion whereby a young per­son could vote but not then place a wa­ger on the out­come of the elec­tion in which they had just voted, which seems ex­tra­or­di­nary.”

Bill Ester­son MP: ‘‘Young peo­ple pay tax... they should be able to vote’’

The bill to push through vot­ing for un­der-16s was ‘fil­i­busted’

Kit Malt­house MP

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