The Labour Party has taken the first step to officially endorsing Votes at 16.
At the Labour Party’s National Policy Forum, Young Labour received support for their proposal to back lowering the voting age. The proposal will now be taken to a vote at the Labour Party Conference in September. If successful, the policy will form part of the next Labour Party manifesto and significantly raise the pressure on the Government to take action now. In backing reform they would join all of the major youth-led organisations, a wide cross section of civic society organisations, the National Assembly for Wales and the Scottish Parliament and thousands of young people. Other supporters include the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, the Green Party, Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National Party, Sinn Fein, Social Democratic and Labour Party and Plaid Cymru.
A spokesperson for the Votes at 16 Coalition, said: “We welcome this move to bring the Labour Party in line with the huge and growing consensus across society and the political spectrum in favour of Votes at 16. The support of Young Labour and the National Policy Forum brings us another step closer to achieving this long overdue reform.”
Olivia Bailey, Vice Chair of Young Labour and proposer of the amendment said about the vote: “Young Labour has listened to the excellent campaigns organised by the British Youth Council, UK Youth Parliament, the Votes at 16 Coalition and other youth organisations – Young Labour was keen to spear head this within the Labour Party.”