Give the vote to 16-year-olds, says Ilford South MP Mike Gapes

12:28 31 January 2013

“Young people have issues that affect them,” says an Ilford MP who backed a motion by backbenchers who suggested lowering the voting age to 16.

The motion was called by a Liberal Democrat MP in the House of Commons who suggested the voting age should be lowered by two years for elections and referenda.

Mike Gapes, Labour MP for Ilford South, said: “I voted for it and it was carried. Most of the Conservatives who did vote, voted against it [but] the government would need to bring forward legislation.

“People can get married at 16, they can get a provisional driving licence, they can join the armed forces. Young people have issues that affect them.

“Thousands of young people in Redbridge voted for representatives in the Youth Parliament and many young people are interested in the world and they have debates.”

The motion was passed last Thursday by 119 votes to 46, but the vote is not binding on the government.

Conservative MP for Ilford North, Lee Scott, who did not vote, added: “I don’t have a problem with it either way. I’m very laid back on it.”

On whether the backbench motion could be amended to a relevant bill in the future, he added: “I don’t know if it would happen.”

If it did, he said that he would “look carefully at it, and consult on it”.

MPs also discussed how important it is to encourage more young people to vote, with only 56 per cent of 19 to 24-year-olds listed on the electoral register.

Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen monthly winner, Omar Carney, 17, of Arandora Crescent, Chadwell Heath, said: “I think 16 and 17-year-olds should be able to vote and I would have loved to have had an opportunity to be able to have a say on subjects such as university fees, GSCEs and school meals.

“I think it is unfair that we don’t get to vote when issues affect us too.”

The student, who attends Chadwell Heath Academy, Christie Gardens, Chadwell Heath, added: “I think there is a lack of young voters because they feel they would not be listened to.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ilford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ilford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ilford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00
Last year's Young Muslim Writers Awards ceremony. Picture: Young Muslim Writers Awards

Young wordsmiths in the borough could be taking home a writers’ prize at an award ceremony on Saturday.

Yesterday, 12:00
Harold Thane, 91, holding his medal with wife Patti Lynn

A 91-year-old man who helped the Allies landing in Normandy during the Second World War has been awarded the highest order of honour by the French government.

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Barnardos christmas appeal.
Jo Chaney, (Managers)

Manager shares insight into lifeline for families

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Meccano models made at North East London Meccano Club's September 2015 meeting. Picture Tim Surtell

A round up of news from the borough’s clubs and societies.

Most read news


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder