POLITICIANS in Wharfedale are backing moves to lower the voting age.

The Welsh Assembly has approved a bill that will see 16 and 17 year olds given the vote in time for its 2021 election.

That follows on from the Scottish Parliament reducing the voting age (for its own and Scottish local elections) to 16 in 2015.

Now the Electoral Reform Society is calling on Theresa May’s Government to follow suit to create a ‘united franchise’ across the UK.

The Liberal Democrats’ Parliamentary candidate for Leeds North West, Kamran Hussain, said: “Over 1.5 million 16 and 17 year old are currently denied the vote.

“With the third reading of the Representation of the People (Young People’s Enfranchisement Bill) scheduled for October, the case for votes at 16 is now overwhelming.

“A 16 year old here, like other parts of England, can pay tax, be a parent or serve in the army - however they are not allowed to vote.

“With 16 and 17-year-olds playing an active role in elections in Scotland and now the Welsh Assembly backing plans too, it is time England caught up.

“Given Brexit poses so many threats to the lives of young people, they deserve their voice to be heard. It is time to demand better from the UK Government and for ministers to ensure that every 16 and 17 year old across the UK has the same right to vote.”

MP Alex Sobel (Lab, Leeds North West) takes a similar view. He said: “I have long supported votes at 16 and was happy to see the lowering of the voting age become official Labour Party policy over ten years ago.

“I am currently supporting my fellow Labour MP, Jim McMahon’s, Votes at 16 bill and was pleased to attend its second reading in Parliament last year.

“It is crucial that we all work to democratise our voting system and ensure young people’s voices are heard.”