Junaid puts the case for youth votes

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A kilt-wearing Cumbernauld politician took the floor of the House of Commons to make a powerful case for 16 and 17 year-olds being able to vote.

Junaid Ashraf, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth’s Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP) was elected the Debate Lead for Scotland, and had the task of creating and delivering a speech advocating voting rights at 16 for all elections and referenda.

The occasion was the annual United Kingdom Youth Parliament House of Commons debate,where speakers addressed five key issues determined by young people across Britain.

His topic is one of enormous importance, following on from the special precedent set for youth voting in the independence referendum – which is argued to have shown there’s no reason why young adults should not be entitled to vote in all national votes.

The views of the young people of the UK were determined through a nationwide consultation which resulted in the consultation of over 850,000 young people.

Former Greenfaulds High pupil Junaid, who stays in South Carbrain, is now studying mechanical engineering with aeronautics at the University of Glasgow,

During the event he and his fellow debate lead speakers from around the UK met House of Commons speaker John Bercow and Leader of the House of Commons William Hague.

Speaking at the annual sitting of the House of Commons earlier this year, John Bercow said: “The track record of dramatically increasing the numbers of young people with whom the UK Youth Parliament engage is indisputable.”

Junaid’s speech can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=axvZ-e_e5sE