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Dudley North MP Austin says Russell Brand is "dead wrong" on voting
Updated 1:09pm Friday 31st January 2014 in Black Country News
DUDLEY North MP Ian Austin has dismissed celebrity Russell Brand as “dead wrong” for calling for voter apathy.
Mr Austin says instead of turning their backs on British politics, young people should get involved and register to vote.
This year will see local and European elections while 2015 will give people a chance to select their member of Parliament in a general election.
Ian Austin said: “The next election will be crucial for young people. In order for future Governments to take their concerns seriously, they need to make their voices heard at the ballot box.
“Figures like Russell Brand calling for apathy are dead wrong. If you want to give politicians something to think about you have to vote.”
The Labour MP has written to Dudley schools encouraging pupils to take part in the UK’s first National Voter Registration Day on Wednesday February 5, which celebrates the anniversary of the Great Reform Act of 1832.
National Voter Registration Day will see businesses, community groups and schools registering thousands of eligible young voters, showing them how and why they should take part in the democratic process.
Statistics show young people tend to be less likely to vote than members of the older generation, 44 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds voted in the last general election compared to 76 per cent of over 65s.
Mr Austin said: “This low figure is partly caused by low levels of registration. Just 56 per cent of young people were registered to vote in the last election.”
The current minimum voting age in England is 18. In January 2013 Parliament supported a motion to reduce voting age to 16 but the result was not binding on the government and the Prime Minister said there were no plans for change.
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