Bute MP backs franchise extension to 16 and 17-year-olds

Argyll and Bute Liberal Democrat MP Alan Reid.

Argyll and Bute Liberal Democrat MP Alan Reid.

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Argyll and Bute MP Alan Reid has backed the idea of giving 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote in future elections to the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Reid was speaking at Scottish Question Time in the House of Commons after members of the House of Lords raised concerns about the proposal, put forward as a result of the extension of the franchise for last year’s independence referendum.

The subject is to be considered by the Lords on Thursday night.

“The out-of-touch House of Lords Constitution Committee has said that not enough thought has been given to the impact of giving 16 and 17-year-olds the vote,” Mr Reid said.

“I hope the Government will reject this recommendation and give 16 and 17-year-olds the right to have their say on who represents them in the Scottish Parliament.”

Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael agreed: “I confess that I always hold their lordships’ views in very high regard, but they would not normally be the first port of call that I would make when I was looking for advice either on democratic elections or on young people.

“The order will be before their lordships’ House tomorrow (Thursday) night. I am confident that it will be passed, as it was passed in this House, without Division.”