Labour challenged on votes at 16 position

Scottish Labour have been challenged to say whether they support votes for 16 and 17 year-olds in the referendum over Scotland’s constitutional future – after former Welsh First Minister, and current Labour MP, Alun Michael, called for children as young as 14 to get the vote.

Labour MSPs and MPs, including Shadow Scotland Secretary Margaret Curran, have given their support to the Votes at 16 campaign, but the party have been silent on the franchise for the Autumn 2014 independence referendum.

Calling for clarity, SNP Constitutional Affair spokesperson at Westminster Pete Wishart MP said:

“With a former Labour First Minister arguing for votes at 14, Johann Lamont need end the uncertainty around her position, and say whether Labour actually supports votes for 16 and 17 years-olds in the independence referendum.

“The SNP supports votes at 16 in all elections and where we have the power over Health Board Elections and even elections to the Crofting Commission we have ensured our young people have a say. 16 and 17-year-olds in Scotland must be able to have their say over Scotland’s constitutional future.

“With organisations representing thousands of young people calling for a vote in this referendum the anti-independence parties must reconsider their position.

“Labour MPs like their deputy leader Anas Sarwar backed votes at 16 in the AV referendum but want to withhold that right from young Scots in the independence referendum. Labour must explain why they are determined to stand in the way of young scots rights to a say over their future.

“Young people of this age are already on the electoral roll and they play a part in our society. It is only fair that they have their say.”

Notes:

1.Alan Michael MPs comments can be found here:
http://news.uk.msn.com/articles.aspx?cp-documentid=161348791

2. Ed Miliband, Douglas Alexander, Jim Murphy, Anas Sarwar and Margaret Curran alongside other Labour MPs vote for 16/17 year olds to vote on AV referendum. Amendment 332 to the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill http://www.votesat16.org/news/parliament-draws-closer-to-backing-votes-a...

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm101018/debt...

2. Scottish Labour support for Votes at 16 Campaign Anas Sarwar, Deputy Leader of Scottish Labour Margaret Curran, Shadow Scottish Secretary Douglas Alexander, Shadow Foreign Secretary Willie Bain, Shadow Scotland minister Jim Murphy, Shadow Defence Secretary Gordon Banks MP, Labour MP for Ochil and South Perthshire Anne Begg MP, Labour MP for Aberdeen South Russell Brown MP, Labour MP for Dumfries and Galloway Katy Clark MP, Labour MP for North Ayrshire and Arran Tom Clarke MP, Labour MP for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill Ian Davidson MP, Labour/Co-operative MP for Glasgow South West Thomas Docherty MP, Labour MP for Dunfermline and West Fife Brian Donohoe MP, Labour MP for Central Ayrshire Sheila Gilmore MP, Labour MP for Edinburgh East Eric Joyce MP, Labour MP for Falkirk Mark Lazarowicz MP, Labour/Co-operative MP for Edinburgh North and Leith Michael McCann MP, Labour MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow Gregg McClymont MP, Labour MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East Ian Murray MP, Labour MP for Edinburgh South Pamela Nash MP, Labour MP for Airdrie and Shotts John Robertson MP, Labour MP for Glasgow North West MSPs Claudia Beamish MSP, Scottish Labour MSP for South Scotland Kezia Dugdale MSP, Scottish Labour and Co-op MSP for Lothian region Neil Findlay MSP, Scottish Labour MSP for Lothian John Park MSP, Scottish Labour MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife http://www.votesat16.org/

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