Youth Select Committee evidence sessions: lowering voting age to 16

01 July 2014

On Friday 4 July, in the second of two oral evidence sessions, the Youth Select Committee will continue to hear testimonies on the subject of lowering the voting age to 16

The session will take place in the House of Commons’ Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House.

The Committee will examine evidence from a range of experts on topics including the rationale behind the current minimum age for voting and the practical implications of lowering the voting age.

Just like UK Parliament Select Committees, the Youth Select Committee will create a report based on its findings, which will be sent to the government for comment.

Witnesses giving evidence on Friday 4 July will include the Deputy Leader of the House, Rt Hon Tom Brake MP and Andy Slaughter MP, as well as representatives from the Electoral Commission and other organisations.

Witnesses

10.30

Panel 1 – Youth participation in democracy

  • Daisy Murphy, Member of Youth Parliament and Oldham Youth Council
  • Pegah Moulana, Member of Youth Parliament and Barnsley Youth Council
  • Ellie Emberson, Member of Youth Parliament and Reading Youth Council
  • David Langridge, Chair, Reading Youth Council
  • Kyle Thornton, Chair, Scottish Youth Parliament

11.15

Panel 2 – How Parliament engages young people

  • Parliamentary Education Service

11.35

Panel 3 – Expert Witness

  • Professor Andrew Russell, University of Manchester

12.00

Panel 4 – Logistics and practicalities

  • Alex Robertson, Director of Communications, Electoral Commission
  • Tom Hawthorn, Head of Policy, Electoral Commission

Morning session expected to conclude by 12.45

13.45

Panel 5 – Hansard Society

  • Matt Korris, Senior Researcher
  • Beccy Allen, Project Manager, Education Projects

14.30

Panel 6 – Opposition View

  • Andrew Slaughter, MP

15.15

Panel 7 – The Government View

  • RT Hon Tom Brake MP, Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

Evidence session: 27 June 2014

Chair of the Youth Select Committee, Michael Hope, 17, said:

“In our first public evidence session, the committee heard convincing arguments on both sides of the debate. We look forward to the second evidence session which will focus on the political perspective, and should provide us with a deeper understanding of the issue.”

Witnesses included representatives from organisations including Liberty, UK Youth, The Electoral Reform Society and the Intergenerational Foundation, as well as academics, teachers and members of Young Labour and Liberal Youth.

Attending the Youth Select Committee evidence sessions

The evidence session on 4 July 2014 will be held in the Boothroyd Room in Portcullis House and will be open to the public on a first come, first served basis.

The entrance to Portcullus House is located on Victoria Embankment.

There is no system for the prior reservation of seats in Committee Rooms.

It is advisable to allow about 30 minutes to pass through security checks. Committee rooms and the timing of meetings are subject to change.

Further information

The Inquiry

The Youth Select Committee will examine issues around the subject of lowering the voting age to 16, such as what the short and long term effects of lowering the voting age are and whether 16 and 17 year olds are ‘ready’ to vote. The example of Scotland allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in the forthcoming referendum on independence will also be considered.

‘Lowering the Voting Age’ was voted as the priority campaign of the UK Youth Parliament at their annual House of Commons debate in November 2013.

The Youth Select Committee

The Youth Select Committee (YSC) is a British Youth Council initiative, supported by the House of Commons. The Committee has eleven committee members aged 14-18 and includes three Members of the Youth Parliament (MYPs), one former MYP, three youth councillors, a representative from the Scout Association and one elected representative from each of the devolved nations.

The YSC mirrors the UK Parliament Select Committee structure and gives young people the opportunity to scrutinise and hold inquiries into topics of importance to them.

Members of the YSC have received induction training and mentoring from Parliamentary Clerks and British Youth Council staff.

The 2013 YSC inquiry looked into the role of the education system and the national curriculum in equipping young people with the skills for later life.

Image: Parliamentary Copyright/Jessica Taylor

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