Stephen Williams MP - working hard for Bristol West

Stephen Williams MP fights to lower voting age

5.00.16pm GMT Wed 30th Nov 2005

Stephen Williams (photography: Tim Pollard)

Stephen Williams, Liberal Democrat MP for Bristol West, has presented his Private Member's Bill, Representation of the People (Reduction in voting age), to Parliament. The bill would have reduced the voting age in all elections from 18 to 16, to make it consistent with the age at which people start to pay income tax.

Mr Williams said, "16 and 17 year olds are more than capable of engaging in political debate. Young people are deemed responsible enough to pay taxes, to get married, to fight and possibly die for their country, but yet they are not deemed responsible enough to choose a government".

Mr Williams spoke to a full chamber, losing the division by just 8. 128 MPs voted for the change with 136 voting against.

Read the full text of Stephen's speech by clicking on the speeches link on the left hand side.

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Previous news story: Stephen Williams MP presents EDF energy award to St Werburghs Park Nursery School (Mon 28th Nov 2005).
Next news story: Stephen Williams MP marks World AIDS Day by pledging to put pressure on Blair (Fri 2nd Dec 2005).

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