Stephen Timms today voted in favour of a motion calling for the UK’s voting age to be lowered to 16. The motion, which was tabled by Liberal Democrat MP, Stephen Williams, received significant cross party support. It passed by a majority of 119 – 46. However, the result is not binding on the government and the prime minister's official spokesman has said the government has no plans to change the voting age.
The previous Labour Government considered this issue carefully, both in the 2007 Governance of Great Britain green paper and through the 2008/09 Youth Citizenship Commission, and had plans to hold a free vote in Parliament to widen the franchise to 16 and 17 year olds.
Speaking after the vote, Stephen said: “I was delighted to vote today with 118 other MPs to lower the voting age to 16. Parliament has sent a message to the government; the time has come to act on this issue and engage 16 and 17 year olds in a process to which they have a lot to contribute”