Waterlooville pupils celebrate new Parliament-led EqualiTeas event

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SHOULD 16-year-olds be given the right to vote?

That burning question, on the lips of Crookhorn College pupils with a keen interest in politics, was discussed as part of the nation-wide, Parliament-led EqualiTeas initiative.

It marks 90 years since equal voting rights were granted to men and women over the age of 21, in 1928.

Groups across the country, including schools, have been invited to celebrate this landmark by holding tea parties and talking about democracy between June 18 to July 2.

Head of history at Crookhorn College, Vicci Masson, was keen to get pupils talking about the right to vote, before asking them to put questions to Havant MP, Alan Mak.

She said: ‘The initiative is about increasing people’s political understanding, the pupils have been really engaged and interested, considering it’s a subject they’ve never done before.

‘Most of our students are for 16-year-olds voting, and there are some here who would be more than capable.

‘They asked Mr Mak some brilliant questions.’

Almost 30 gifted and talented pupils from Year 8 to Year 10 took part in the event, in Waterlooville, and put questions to Mr Mak, who spoke to the youngsters about democracy and his role as an MP and in Westminster.

Also a guest at the event was 16-year-old Anastasia Lonergan, Member of Youth Parliament for Havant, Fareham and Gosport.

She, along with her peers in Hampshire, are campaigning for pupils to be informed about politics as part of the school curriculum.

Year 10 pupil Travis Young, who is 15, asked the Mr Mak why he has previously voted against giving 16-year-olds the right to vote.

The MP responded: ‘To vote at 16 would be too young, 18 is right until there’s a massive clamour for change.’