‘England is being left behind’: Councillor reacts to ban on 16-year-old vote in EU referendum

Councillor Sam Crooks
Councillor Sam Crooks

A leading Liberal Democrat has criticised the “disappointing” decision against lowering the voting age in the European Union referendum.

In the House of Commons yesterday, Conservative MPs voted against allowing anyone aged 16 and over to vote, with 310 to 265 MPs - despite cross-party support from Labour and the SNP.

It follows MK Council’s vote to support lowering the voting age and welcoming EU residents to the polling station in 2017’s European Union referendum.

Councillor Sam Crooks, who presented the motion in last week’s council meeting, reacted to yesterday’s vote in Westminster.

He said: “This is really disappointing. The Conservatives are looking in on themselves and not realising that as a country we are inclusive.

“If you ask young people they will say they are very supportive of being given the chance to vote at 16. Why should we prevent that?”

Less than 40 minutes after the vote was struck down, the Scottish parliament voted unanimously in favour of allowing its 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in local elections.

But despite yesterday’s outcome, there still remains a chance that the lowered vote age could be forced through in the House of Lords.

Mr Crooks added: “I feel it is running against the tide.

“After what has happened in Scotland, I think England will find itself left behind.”

“I hope the Lords will force the Conservatives to think again.”