01:38PM, Monday 13 November 2017
From BBC Parliament
Slough’s representative for the UK Youth Parliament made a confident and passionate speech in favour of reducing the voting age during a sitting in the House of Commons on Friday.
Alaa Fawaz represented the town at the annual youth parliament debate in which youngsters aged 11 to 18 were given the floor to put forward their views on issues including LGBT+ rights and work experience hubs.
Welcome speeches were made by the Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom, the Minister for Sport and Civil Society Tracey Crouch and a reading from a letter by Prime Minister Theresa May.
On the debate of lowing the voting age to 16, speaker John Bercow introduced Alaa, who said: “It’s easy to say that we are not engaged, assuming at the age of 18 we suddenly become informed overnight.
“This should not be an excuse to deny 16 and 17-year-olds the vote but a reason to improve our education system.”
She argued youngsters in that age group can contribute to the economy through income tax and national insurance, but not politically, adding 16 and 17-year-olds can ‘even sleep with our MP but not vote for them’.
Her speech was given a standing ovation by her fellow youth parliament members.
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