John backs move to lower voting age to 16

South Yorkshire MP John Healey has backed moves to lower the voting age to 16.

MPs passed a motion in the House of Commons on Thursday.

Mr Healey said: “This is a matter of democratic principle.

“In this country we have 16-year-olds who can leave school, start work, pay income tax, receive benefits and tax credits, give consent to medical treatment, become company directors, join trade unions, join the armed forces, get married and enter into civil partnerships.

“We regard 16-year-olds as responsible enough to do all those things, but we do not regard them as responsible enough to vote.

“This means that we have about 1.5 million 16 and 17-year-olds who are capable of making and able to make decisions on those things, and capable of making yet unable to make decisions on voting.

“That leaves them without a democratic voice on many of the things that can directly affect them most.

The Wentworth and Dearne MP has long been a supporter of the campaign to give 16- and 17-year-olds the vote.