'Time is right' for votes at 16 - Leanne Wood


Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has today reiterated her party's commitment to lowering the voting age to 16, arguing that bringing more young people into politics would "enhance our democracy."

Leanne Wood's call comes as MPs prepare to debate a Private Members Bill on the matter in Westminster where her colleague Ben Lake MP will be present to express the party's support.

The Plaid Cymru leader added that lowering the voting age should form part of a wider package of electoral reform including moving to a system of proportional representation.

Leanne Wood said:

"Too often, young people are left feeling that politics is something that happens around them, rather than something they can be part of.

"With young people set to live the longest with the legacy of the decisions taken today, it is only right that they are given a greater say over their futures. It is important too, that we improve the provision of civic education in our schools to make sure young people have the means to make an informed decision.

"Plaid Cymru has long supported the campaign to lower the voting age in Wales and throughout the rest of the UK to 16 as a means of engaging more young people in the democratic process.

"Young people bring unique experiences and perspectives and their contribution and increased participation in politics would no doubt enhance our democracy.

"I am pleased that my colleague, Ben Lake - the youngest MP in Wales and someone who championed the role of young people in his election campaign - is able to be in Westminster today to voice Plaid Cymru's support for this important change.

"Lowering the voting age alone is not enough however - we must do far more to ensure that our democratic institutions and processes are fairer, more transparent and inclusive. That is why Plaid Cymru will continue to campaign for electoral reform, away from our current broken system towards proportional representation to create a parliament whose make-up better reflects public opinion.

"With mistrust and apathy blighting politics, the time is right for all parties to unite behind this campaign for greater openness and inclusivity in the way in which we choose who takes the decision which affect all our day to day lives and how they are taken."

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