MP backs call to slash voting age to 16
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