I will be voting on Friday 3 November 2017 for the franchise to be expanded to people aged 16 and over. This will be introduced by another Labour MP as a Private Members Bill, which means that it is not being brought forward by the Government.
It is impossible to justify the automatic and blanket exclusion of 16 and 17 years olds from the right to vote because, at 16, the law allows a person to:
• Give full consent to medical treatment;
• Leave school and enter work or training;
• Pay income tax and National Insurance;
• Obtain tax credits and welfare benefits in their own right;
• Consent to sexual relationships;
• Get married or enter a civil partnership;
• Change their name by deed poll;
• Become a director of a company;
• Join the armed forces; and
• Become a member of a trade union or a co-operative society.
There are over 1.5 million 16 and 17 year olds in the UK. These young people are knowledgeable and passionate about the world in which they live, and are as capable of engaging in the democratic system as any other citizen. Read more “Votes at 16”