Election hustings takes place at secondary school in Queen’s Park
- Credit: Archant
A Conservative councillor told teenagers at a Queens Park secondary school that he would not allow under 18s the vote if he becomes an MP.
Cllr Simon Marcus, prospective parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, was at a hustings held at Queen Park Community School in Aylestone Avenue, attended by competing candidates Tulip Siddiq (Labour), Maajid Nawaaz (Liberal Democrat) and Dr Rebecca Johnson (Green) yesterday.
Sixth form students asked the politicians if the voting age should be lowered to 16 and Cllr Marcus was the only candidate to say no.
He said: “We don’t have any proposals to lower the voting age. However if the vote come up in parliament I would come along and talk it over with local students and keep an open mind.”
In 2013, MPs have voted in favour of a proposal to lower the voting age in all UK elections from 18 to 16 when a backbench motion calling for the changed was passed, with conservatives opposed to the move.
The Liberal Democrats promised the change in their 2010 election campaign and Labour pledged in its manifesto to give MPs a free vote on the issue.
Other issues raised by the students, half of whom will vote in May’s election, included lowering university tuition fees, the unfairness of MP’s awarding themselves 11 per cent pay rises while public workers get one per cent, house prices, immigration and the Middle East.
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Ruqayyah Siddiqui, a sixth former said: “Great insight into the policies of each political party. It has really inspired me to vote.”
Ethan Bowling added: “I thought the whole experience was great. The sixth form has been discussing who they will vote for all day.”
Alex Pavlopoulos had already decided, he said: “After seeing all the candidates today I am definitely voting for Tulip.”
Johnny Hammond, head of Sixth Form at QPCS, said: “The debate was great and each candidate answered the questions well with some heated exchanges amongst them on austerity and University fees.
“Overall the consensus was that Tulip came out best, however Maajid and Rebecca did win some support.”