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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Lib Dems table Lords amendment for votes at 16

Liberal Democrats could pave the way for 16-year-olds to vote in local council elections as David Cameron's government is expected to face a further defeat in the House of Lords later on today. Lib Dem peers, have tabled an amendment to the Government’s ‘Cities’ Bill to give under-18s the right to choose their local councillors.

Labour and the Green peer, Jenny Jones, are expected to support the Lib Dem amendment, which would mean yet another defeat for the new Conservative Government in the second chamber. The move is part of the Liberal Democrats' wider campaign to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in the EU Referendum and General Elections.

Liberal Democrat Constitutional Spokesperson Lord Tyler said: "There is no reason to deny 16 and 17-year olds the right to vote. They are subject to all the laws of the land and pay taxes as the rest of us. They can become company directors, get married and join the army. They are full members of society and should be treated as such when it comes to voting."

Lord Tyler continued: "The Scottish Referendum showed that 16 and 17-year-olds are more than capable of taking part in the democratic process, this right should now be extended to those young people in England and Wales. This is an important first step in the Liberal Democrat fight to make sure 16-year-olds have the vote in the EU Referendum and General Elections."

"Conservative cuts will hit young people the hardest – it is only fair they get the chance to have their say on these measures." Lord Tyler added.