MP Barry Sheerman’s concern over votes at 16
Feb 5 2010 Huddersfield Daily Examiner
HUDDERSFIELD MP Barry Sheerman has voiced his concern at plans to look at voting for 16-year-olds.
Mr Sheerman fears the move to reduce the age from 18 to 16 would deal another blow to childhood, at a time when young people are under pressure.
But he is anxious to hear what people in Huddersfield think of the issue.
Mr Sheerman raised the point with Prime Minister Gordon Brown in a debate this week on the UK’s voting system.
The switch to voting at 16 has been called for by the Youth Parliament and has received some support, notably from Harriet Harman.
Supporters of the move claim there are powerful arguments for considering a further reduction to give the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds.
One backer said: “Surely someone who is old enough to pay tax in this country, and old enough to join the armed forces, is old enough to exercise the democratic right to vote.”
But Mr Sheerman said: “I raised it with the PM and he hinted he could be in favour.
“It is many years since we looked seriously at the issue and perhaps it is time we had a proper poll to see what people think.
“I am concerned that young people already face tremendous pressures on them and this could add more.
“....do we really want to rob people of their childhood?”