Hove MP aims to lower voting age after his name is drawn in ballot for private members’ bills

Posted On 30 Jun 2017 at 11:38 pm

Peter Kyle, the Labour MP for Hove, hopes to lower the voting age to 16 after his name was drawn in the ballot for private members’ bills.

Mr Kyle came 18th out of 20 in the ballot. MPs drawn first have a much better chance of changing the law.

But last year John Glen, the Conservative MP for Salisbury, was the 18th name to be drawn.

Council repairs

His bill – or draft law – has become the Merchant Shipping (Homosexual Conduct) Act 2017. It repeals historic laws that could have been used to sack gay merchant seamen.

Mr Kyle said: “Sixteen and seventeen-year-olds have so much wisdom, energy and passion, we should harness that.”

He said before the ballot: “In the recent general election, the youth vote rose to 57 per cent from just 40 per cent in the 2015 election – and more 18 and 19-year-olds turned out than ever before.

“Clearly, young people want a say over the issues which affect their lives and they are ready and willing to get stuck into our democracy.

“Of course, there will be people who will say that 16 and 17-year-olds do not have the maturity to be given the vote.

“But if they have the maturity to get married, enter work and pay tax like every other citizen, then they should also be recognised as being mature enough to participate in our democracy.

“Older people have a worldliness which is important for public debate but I believe that there is also room for youthful exuberance and innocence to balance out that debate.

“This is why I have partnered with Lord (Andrew) Adonis to build a coalition of support to deliver this change which we believe would be truly transformative for politics and for our society.”

East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton came fifth in the ballot. The Conservative backbencher has not yet said what his bill will be about.

A year ago he tried to bring in a bill to allow same sex partnerships to be available for heterosexual couples, with support from the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas. The bill ran out of time so didn’t become law.

Although when the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government introduced same sex marriage, Mr Loughton voted against it while Ms Lucas voted in favour.

  1. bracken Reply

    this is right: after all, the age of consent for penetrative sex, oral sex and mutual masturbation in the United Kingdom is 16 years now, ergo….

  2. Rolivan Reply

    Why not just make 16 the age where it is legal to do anything like driving an HGV or PSV oh wait a minute how easy is it to pass the Theory Test for the majority of people let alone 16 year olds?

  3. trevornh Reply

    There must be many other issues that are more important and which Mr Kyle could have selected for his putative private members bill than votes for 16 & 17 year olds.

  4. Peter Reply

    They are children

  5. Foxy Reply

    OH come on 16 why not make it 14 or 15 as when i left school it was 15 and 14 in my Father’s day and 21 to vote.Haven’t we got more important thing to worry about than to lower the age to vote

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