Youth Charities Call On The Smith Commission To Consider Votes At 16

October 13th, 2014

Scotland will be viewed as a world leader by fully engaging and empowering its 16 and 17 year olds as fully franchised citizens active in the political life of the country.

The past few months have clearly marked a new era of democratic engagement. The Independence Referendum engaged young people in the political landscape in an unprecedented way. Over 100,000 16 and 17 years olds registered to vote.

Evidence shows they were amongst the most informed, engaged and questioning voters, carrying out their own own research and using multiple sources in order to come to their own personal decision. Many young individuals dedicated countless hours to campaign for both sides. On September 18th 2014, queues of young people entered polling stations for the first time in order to have their say on Scotland’s future, valuing that responsibility and casting their vote.

We, as an alliance of Scottish Youth Charities, representing 1.1 million young people, are united in our belief that we cannot let young people down and must continue to fully engage them in the democratic process. We as a country need to capture this emergent enthusiasm for the democratic process. We need to stimulate their ongoing involvement and we need to value their contribution.

We are therefore calling on Lord Smith to recommend a mechanism for the franchise for all future elections in Scotland to be extended to 16 and 17 year olds.

The Smith Commission should build in enfranchisement of our young people as a key principle and a core value in a fully engaged and effective devolved administration.

This ground-breaking enfranchisement of young people will ensure their voices are heard now and for generations to come.

We, as national third sector organisations working with young people in communities across Scotland, stand ready to support them.

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive, Young Scot, said: “Young people have put to bed the myth that they are not interested in being involved in the democratic process. The huge level of engagement in the Independence Referendum vindicates all those who have campaigned for the extension of the franchise to 16 and 17 year olds. The truth about Scotland’s young people is that they are switched on, engaged and passionate about the difference they can make to their local communities and to tackling local and national issues.

We know that young people are doing amazing things to make their local communities a better place to grow up every single day. We look forward to continuing to work with them to support them to become active local, national and global citizens, whose contributions are valued and acted upon, and where young people – as shown throughout the debate – are leading the future of Scotland right now.”

Louise Cameron, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said: “The referendum has proved young people take the right to vote seriously. Over 80 per cent of young people registered to vote, and we have earned an extension of the voting age to all elections.

“I urge Lord Smith, the Prime Minister and the UK Government to look to our experience in Scotland when considering a new devolution settlement for Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. The ability to lower the voting age to 16 for all Scottish elections should be part of this settlement.”

Closing Remarks to #SYP55 from Louise Cameron MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament

October 5th, 2014

SYP55 National Sitting

Louise Cameron MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament

Louise Cameron MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament

Firstly, I would like to say a huge Thank you to Perth and Kinross Council for hosting SYP’s 55th Sitting, including the fantastic evening entertainment last night.

Thank you to Provost and all of the youth services staff for making this such a wonderful weekend for us all. Let’s show our appreciation.

I’d also like to thank all of our guests including our keynote speaker, John Swinney MSP, and all of the staff of the North Inch Community Campus.

The next sitting will be in at the end of March. We will keep you posted on details as we finalise them. Don’t forget that the March 2015 Sitting also includes the SYP Awards, and nominations will be opening in December so start thinking about who you would like to nominate to receive an award at the last Sitting of the current membership!

Remember, there is still time to register as a candidate if you wish to stand for re-election in March next year. You can check out the SYP website for more details.

We have had a fantastic sitting and we have raised the bar for what we can achieve when we as a membership work together. With lots of little changes to the structure of our organisation such as the Members Motions structure and the introduction of opposition speakers we are showing that we are capable of adapting, meeting the needs and views of our Membership.

I am pleased to say that I have delivered on everything I intended to do in my campaign as Chair thus far. Working with our staff team and your dedicated Board, we are currently considering creating regional portfolios for board members, our youth engagement team has created a thorough membership training programme, and we as a board have also been exploring new ways to make our organisation as accessible as possible.

I am proud that SYP has been leading the way on engaging young people. With our huge successes in terms of our grassroots young voter engagement work, and our success in our National Campaign, we have once again shown that SYP is delivering in making a significant impact in Scottish society. Our ability to represent the views of young people and to create effective change through their vision is constantly improving and becoming stronger all the time.

Our increased presence on media is proving how positively we are viewed by Scotland and beyond. Our improving relationship in parliament demonstrates how strongly we stand with decision makers and the credibility and influence we hold with them. Our success is only going to increase in the future.

We achieved, and continue to achieve this together.

This is why I want to reiteratie the importance of us working together. We, together, have had an immense impact through our work on the referendum. We have been passionate and vocal both online and on the ground about empowering young people to be interested and excited about politics. We have seen the power of what we can achieve when we all channel our energy positively and work as a collective team.

I understand that many of you may have disagreed with decisions made and things which have happened over the past few months, but I can assure you that the organisations best interest is always the most important factor and that if any one of you wants to be more involved in SYP, in media opportunities, in campaign work, in parliamentary activity, in projects and youth engagement, please get in touch and let us know! We are more than delighted to support members into making the most of their role and helping them to make a positive impact. We would love to hear from you.

As a newly elected Board we have been settling into our roles and have had to make many decisions at short notice, but we have all been trying our very best knowing it isn’t always possible to please everyone. We are very committed to the organisation and ensuring that all decisions are made in its best interest. We hope that any questions or concerns you have were answered today in the Board and Convener Q and A, but if they weren’t we will ensure to get in touch with a response.

I want you all to share my vision of what can be achieved when we harness our collective energy and channel it positively as an organisation. In just a few short months after our AGM we have achieved so much. Imagine what we can achieve if we continue these efforts over the next three months, and then the next three after that.

Our image as an organisation, our social media, our consultation work, our survey activity, our campaigns are only as good as our MSYPs make them. Get involved! Get our message out there. Fill in our surveys, tweet, retweet, share, engage with our projects and make an impact in our campaigns. Without each and every one of you, there is no SYP. We need everyone to understand the value of their work and how important each and every one of you are as members.

We as an organisation must look forward. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to grasp all of this engagement, all of this excitement which has been created from the referendum, and to channel it into building a better society for young people in our country, not to mention the chance to change the face of politics and make it something everyone can be involved in and have a say in.

There is a very obvious space and opportunity for the Scottish Youth Parliament to seize this and fundamentally shape this going forward, this is our future. But we can only achieve this together.

Thank you all for the passion and enthusiasm you have shown this weekend. I look forward to seeing you all again in March.


Youth Parliament to campaign to tackle child and youth poverty

October 5th, 2014

The Scottish Youth Parliament’s (SYP) new national campaign will aim to tackle child and youth poverty.

Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament voted on a shortlist of campaigns on Saturday afternoon at their National Sitting held in North Inch Community Campus, Perth. The winning campaign was announced by Vice Chair, Terri Smith MSYP on Sunday 5th October 2014.

Speaking immediately after the announcement, the Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, Louise Cameron MSYP, said:

“I am delighted that Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament have chosen to campaign to tackle child and youth poverty.”

“Research has shown that growing up in poverty affects the opportunities children and young people have available to them. We firmly believe that this must change and that more needs to be done to support these young people.”

“The Scottish Youth Parliament has made a huge impact with our previous campaigns, Love Equally and Care.Fair.Share. I have no doubt that we can be equally successful with this campaign and make a real difference to benefit the young people of Scotland.”





Campaign Update from Lauren King MSYP at #SYP55

October 4th, 2014

SYP55 National Sitting

Lauren and Ryan

As the Lead Campaigner for Care.Fair.Share., I just want to take a moment to say how proud I am of all the great work that has been done so far for the campaign. As Nairn said, there is much to be proud of – all the young people we have engaged, all the Councillors and MSPs we have met with, all the launches and events, all the coverage in the media, our research report, all the motions of support in local Councils and the Scottish Parliament.

I would like to especially note the achievement of meeting with Angela Constance MSP, then the Minister for Youth Employment, to change the guidance for EMA that will ensure that schools and local authorities know that young carers should be given flexibility due to their caring responsibilities. This will make a huge difference for young carers who are trying to balance caring with school and studying.

Recently, Louise and myself met with Michael Matheson MSP, the Minister for Public Health, to discuss the campaign and ask for his support as we continue to campaign for change for young carers. He listened to our concerns, and promised to speak with his colleagues and explore our proposals further.

We also have a meeting scheduled in early November to meet with Michael Russell MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, to discuss in particular additional bursaries for young carers in college or university. I hope that the outcome of this meeting is successful, and we will, of course, keep you all informed.

These meetings with the Scottish Government, which have led to real change, are due to all of your efforts, and the high profile we have in the Scottish Parliament. Because of all the work you have done locally to raise awareness and advocate change, we are able to make national policy changes. Thank you so much for this

There is much more that can be done locally to improve the lives of young carers across Scotland.

We need to let the young carers, schools, and local authorities know about the changes to EMA. We need to make sure young carers know their rights, and we need to make sure schools and local authorities know what their duties are.

We need to speak to colleges and universities in our local areas, and ask them to provide identification, support, and additional funding for young carers. We need to make sure that young carers are being encouraged as much as possible during these formative times.

We need to work with local transport providers and local councils to provide concessionary funding for young carers locally. We need to encourage collaboration, and make sure people work together to make life fairer for young carers.

Finally, we need to lobby elected officials to endorse and champion these issues.

The Phase 3 Toolkit, which will be released very soon, contains all the information you will need to plan events, write letters, use media, and lobby for these local changes. Please take the time to read it, and add your efforts to all the great work being done. Together, we can spread change across all of Scotland.

Together, we can do this.

As Care.Fair.Share. draws to a close, I want to say thank you to the whole Membership for all of your hard work and support these past nine months. This issue is very, very close to my heart, and it is inspiring to see so many of you advocating change and helping young carers demand positive change. We have made, and will continue to make, Scotland a fairer, better place for young carers.

Our work doesn’t stop here. Work hard in your local authorities, and watch out for the Phase 3 Toolkit, and any other information sent out about our achievements.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me, the Board, the Conveners, or the Staff Team.

And thank you again for all that you have done to make Care.Fair.Share. a success. Let’s make sure in these last few months, we do all we can to make life fairer for young carers!

Campaign Update from Nairn McDonald MSYP #SYP55

October 4th, 2014

SYP55 National Sitting 2014

It is difficult to believe that this is the third time we have gathered to speak about Care.Fair.Share., our national campaign for 2014.

What a year it has been!

I can proudly report that we have engaged nearly 4,000 young people in our campaign thus far, demonstrating that young people across Scotland want a fairer deal for young carers. You have spoken to young people through the consultation cards and the campaign pledge cards, through your local media and social media, through local launches and events, calling for change.

We have also met with or written to over 70 MSPs, and dozens of local councillors. Our profile in the Scottish Parliament continues to rise. We have achieved cross-party support for motions recognising the campaign and our research report, “A Costly Youth: The Impact of Caring on Young People in Scotland”. We have been mentioned several times in the chamber, and politicians are taking note of our campaign and its impact. Furthermore, many of you have convinced your local councils to pass motions supporting the campaign, and calling for change.

Our collective efforts have ensured that the guidance for the Education Maintenance Allowance has changed so that young carers do not lose their payments due to absences and situations related to their caring duties. We have changed it for the better, and helped make Scotland a fairer place for young carers.

Importantly, we have also raised awareness across the country about the issues that are facing young carers, a group that is often overlooked. We have created change, and hopefully there is more to come.

Our work is not done. Key meetings are scheduled that could result in even more changes for young carers. However, until then, there is still much work to be done on a local level, but I will let Lauren tell you a bit more about that in just a moment.

It is so important that SYP be able to account for all the amazing work we have done this year, and show how many young people and young carers we are speaking to, and how many MSPs, Councillors and MPs are supporting our cause. It is vitally important that we get this information. Please ensure you fill out the campaign activity survey. Copies of this are enclosed in the Support Worker packs. Please ask your Support Worker for a copy. The more we know about the great work done throughout Scotland, the stronger the campaign will be.

On a final note, can I once again congratulate you all on a very successful campaign thus far. Remember, even though we are about to choose the next national campaign, Care.Fair.Share. is still our priority until January. Keep fighting for a better deal for Scotland’s young carers, and for positive change locally and nationally. I know we can all do it together.

I would like to take a moment, on behalf of the Conveners, to sincerely thank Lauren King MSYP for all the hard work she has put into the campaign so far. She has led from the front, and her passion and dedicate are an inspiration to us all.

Opening Remarks to #SYP55 from Louise Cameron MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament

October 4th, 2014

SYP55 National Sitting

Louise Cameron MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament

Louise Cameron MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament

Welcome everyone to the Scottish Youth Parliament’s 55th Sitting in Perth, right in the heart of Scotland! I am so excited to be welcoming you all to this sitting which will be my first Sitting as Chair! First and foremost, I would like to extend my warmest thanks to Perth and Kinross Council for hosting us.

It has been an incredible few months settling into my new role.

The last time I seen most of you was on the beautiful island of Shetland which I think will be an extremely memorable sitting for us all, but the months following have been absolutely jam packed full of activity in SYP. We as an organisation have had a huge amount of success in these months and we are expanding very quickly with the amount of young people we are reaching.

So, to start I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone in the room. We have made it through the referendum and we as an organisation have engaged thousands of young people. Our organisation has had incredible success in terms of engaging with young people throughout this process, and every single member has contributed to showing that young people are engaged in politics.

Ready Steady Vote Week and the Aye Naw Mibbe project led to us engaging with over 10000 young people directly as well as registering nearly 3000 people to vote.

On Twitter we had the hashtag #YourVoteMatters, as a result of a very successful partnership with Twitter, which was mentioned nearly 7000 times, and we gained over 300 new followers. We did that in two days.

As an organisation we worked together and we have proven the strength and quality of our outreach activity and just how strong it is when we work as a collective unit. SYP has been absolutely instrumental in ensuring that young people can have their say, and we have proven the case to get 16 and 17 year olds the vote in all future elections. As a result of your work, SYP has earned a profound and lasting legacy from the referendum.

We now have a duty to ensure that young people continue to be at the forefront of politics, and we cannot let Votes at 16 slip away from our reach, especially when we have defeated every single argument against it by proving that young people are listening and they are engaged.

This weekend we get to pick our new campaign for the year ahead, however we will also get to hear about the progress with Care.Fair.Share from Lauren King, the campaign lead and also Nairn MacDonald who is the new Conveners Trustee on the Board.

At SYP we have recently released a unique piece of research called a Costly Youth: The Impact of Caring on Young People in Scotland, which is the first of its kind for our organisation. It highlights financial circumstances which carers face and the impact this can have on their educational, social and emotional development.

Not only does this put SYP on the map in politics, demonstrating how we are contributing to the wider research and policy landscape, but it is also a very emotive piece of research with shocking figures showing the hardship faced by these young people. If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to read it on our website.

I would just like to thank Lauren for her work on the campaign this year, Lauren has been an extremely inspiring and charismatic debate lead and has personally put so much time into ensuring our campaign is not just brushed under the carpet but remains a priority with key decision makers. Together, we are shaping the country we live in, and, through all your local campaigning efforts, we are creating a Scotland where young people have influence and can affect change through their strong and influential youth parliament.

In other news, We-CTV has been launched, a popular project which we run in collaboration with the No Knives Better Lives initiative. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a competition and this year they are raising awareness of interpersonal violence. We will be hearing from the We-CTV champions later to hear about the project and their vision of how SYP will take it forward.

And lastly we have launched the national elections process for the 2015 membership! How time flies when you’re having fun! Between now and the start of November we will be looking for candidates for the next membership and we will show you a little video about the elections over the course of the weekend.

So what do we have planned for you over this weekend?

As always we have so much exciting and innovative activities crammed in over the weekend! We have Members Motions, Campaign Selection, Subject committees and some youth engagement activities. 

We have a new structure for Members Motions based on the feedback from MSYPs from the outcome of the Procedures Group consultation, so this weekend we will be doing members motions a little bit differently! We will try to debate as many motions as possible, taking them in the order determined by the online vote, as voted on by MSYPs. This means that if we have a clear consensus on a motion and there has been enough debate on it then we can move straight to the vote. I hope this explains it to you briefly for now but I will explain again when we get to that section.

We will have our update from Lauren and Nairn about Care.Fair.Share and we will also will get to pick our brand new shiny campaign for the year ahead! We have some exciting and interesting options up for the campaigns so choose wisely!

Also we will have a variety of Subject Committee activities over the weekend which will let you have some thought provoking discussions with your committees.

With a fantastic weekend ahead of us, I hope you all have a great time. Join the fun on twitter with the hashtag #SYP55. We have a weekend of celebration from all that we have achieved in the past few months, but I hope that it’s also a weekend of ambition and determination to do even better, and take SYP to a new level!

It is now my pleasure to welcome Provost Liz Grant to the stage to welcome you to Perth.

Thoughts from Louise Cameron, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament ahead of SYP55

October 1st, 2014

SYP55 in Perth

With only a few days left to go until the Scottish Youth Parliament’s 55th National Sitting, MSYPs from across Scotland are making last minute preparations for what is set to be a great weekend in Perth and Kinross.

Since the last National Sitting in July 2014, a lot has happened. The Care.Fair.Share. campaign has been progressing with great success thanks to the dedicated efforts of MSYPs.

Also, MSYPs have recently seen fantastic achievements as a result of all the hard work and commitment to encourage young people all over Scotland to vote in the referendum. Young people registered in their masses, and turned out on the 18th September to have their say, proving that young people take their right to vote seriously, and undoubtedly deserve the right to vote in all elections.

Young people truly are at the forefront of shaping the future of our society.

Louise Cameron, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, has shared her thoughts in a video message ahead of SYP55. You can watch what Louise has to say here.

Youth democracy descends on Perth

September 30th, 2014


Scottish Youth Parliament Press Office

Youth democracy descends on Perth

SYP53 Care.Fair.Share. Support

This weekend, the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) will host its 55th National Sitting in Perth.

The Scottish Youth Parliament is the democratically elected voice of Scotland’s young people. Nearly 160 Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs), who are elected every two years, meet three times a year at National Sittings to debate policy, select campaign priorities, and host events with stakeholders and other guests.

This Sitting is a key event for the SYP as this is when the full Membership of the organisation will vote on the national campaign priority for the coming year. These meetings are hugely important occasions that provide a platform for youth-led debate and decision making, truly empowering Scotland’s young people.

Speaking before the event, the Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, Louise Cameron MSYP said:

“Nearly 160 young people will meet in Perth this weekend to debate policy, select a national campaign, and discuss how we can continue to engage young people across the country in politics.

“Through their engagement and participation in the independence referendum, young people across Scotland have demonstrated that they are interested in politics and they want to have their say.

“Our National Sitting is a vital opportunity for the Scottish Youth Parliament to ensure young people can continue to be heard by decision makers and shape their own futures. I am looking forward to meeting in Perth and discussing the issues that young people have told us matter to them, and working with my fellow MSYPs to affect positive change for young Scots.”

Also speaking ahead of the weekend, Dillon Kennedy, MSYP for Perth, said:

“I am looking forward to having the opportunity to welcome my fellow MSYPs to my hometown constituency for the Scottish Youth Parliament’s National Sitting. MSYPs are continually campaigning and working hard to engage young people across the country. I am excited to grasp this great opportunity to showcase the fantastic work the elected MSYPs for Perth and Kinross have been doing in our constituency.

“I hope that my fellow MSYPs will have a great time in Perth Sitting and that our Sitting will result in discussions and policy that benefits young people across the Scotland.”

Perth and Kinross Provost Liz Grant said that she was looking forward to welcoming the Scottish Youth Parliament to Perth, and added:

“I am delighted that the Scottish Youth Parliament will be holding their Sitting in Perth this weekend. The Youth Parliament is an excellent example of how young people can get engaged in the political process. We are fortunate in Perth and Kinross to also have a very active Youth Council and I hope that the Scottish Youth Parliament visit to this area will encourage more local young people to engage with politics at both a national and local level.”

Vice Chair Update – August 2014 Terri Smith MSYP

September 29th, 2014


Terri Smith MSYPHello everyone,

I can’t believe it’s already been two months since I was elected as the Vice Chair of SYP. It’s still very exciting and I’m learning something new every week. I hope everyone had a fantastic summer, and for those of you who have returned to school, college and work, I hope you’ve all settled in well. For everyone starting university in the coming weeks, I wish you all the very best.

I’ve been extremely busy over the last month. I attended the League of Young Voters meeting in London, which was great to hear from other organisations to discuss the successful and challenging aspects of voter engagement and voter registration.

The Board also had its first official meeting, which was exciting, and it was great to witness and be part of such a fantastic group dynamic. The next meeting is in October 2014, and if you would like to have any input then, as always, drop me an email.

Also in August, I chaired the first Conveners Group meeting, which for me was fab, having previously served as a Convener. It was great to see how much the group had evolved, and to see the plans each Subject Committee has for the year ahead.

I’ve also been involved in some media opportunities too, including an interview with BBC Radio Scotland and two broadcast interviews with BBC News and one with Sky News on the referendum. You can also check out two online articles below:

Third Force News
Daily Record


As ever, I’ve been out every week promoting Care.Fair.Share. and Aye Naw Mibbe. I met with the City of Edinburgh and Lothian Buses in a joint meeting about concessionary travel for young carers, and I hope to continually update you all on the progress from this in the coming months.

As the registration deadline drew to a close for independence referendum, I was really pleased to have personally registered 240 young people in my constituency. Being right in the heart of the community engaging with young people is something I enjoy.

Terri’s corner

“Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world.” – Roald Dahl

Once again, thank you all for sending me your jokes. The reason for having this section is not only because it’s a bit of banter, but I think it’s important that once in a while everyone takes a break from the hard work they do and have a good laugh.

  • Thomas Mair MSYP – Why can’t penguins fly? Because they’re biscuits.
  • Scott Simpson MSYP – A sick patient asked the doctor, “flu?” The doctor replied, “I came in on my bike, actually!”
  • Hazel Sharp MSYP – I went to a really emotional wedding the other day. Even the cake was in tiers.


MSYPs are the beating heart of the Scottish Youth Parliament and continually amaze me with their work and commitment to SYP. I would need a lot more time and space to write up all the fantastic things each person gets up to, but for this month, I would like to make some noise about the following people:


  • Ellena Leslie MSYP – Many MSYPs would like to congratulate Ellena on her recent election as Chair of the Highland Youth Parliament. Well done.
  • Scott Simpson MSYP – Thomas McEachan MSYP wants to give a mention to Scott, who successfully managed to navigate seven MSYPs on the Glasgow subway. This  resulted in copious amounts of banter after the BYC Scottish Convention in Glasgow.
  • Lauren King MSYP – I think we would all agree, Lauren has been a fantastic campaign lead for Care.Fair.Share. and as we get closer to SYP55 and choosing a new campaign, I think everyone should take a leaf out of Lauren’s book, as she has been a fantastic role model. Lauren’s enthusiasm and determination has been hugely significant throughout the campaign. Lauren also led in the development and publication of ‘A Costly Youth‘, SYP’s  research report exploring the challenging financial circumstances facing Scotland’s young carers.


Finally, we have entered the post referendum period, and I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your hard work on the Aye Naw Mibbe project. Some of you may feel slightly disheartened, and that’s okay, but this is an exciting time in Scottish politics. Not only have you all helped create history, but we can now be a part of helping to shape the type of Scotland young people want to live in.

Enjoy the next few weeks, continue the great work, and as always, any questions, queries or banter, send it my way.

Terri Smith MSYP

Vice Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament

Scottish Youth Parliament Chair says a lowered voting age must be part of new Scottish and UK devolution settlements

September 23rd, 2014

 Scottish Youth Parliament Press Office

Tuesday 23rd September 2014

©DN Anderson

Scottish Youth Parliament Chair says a lowered voting age must be part of new Scottish and UK devolution settlements

The Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, Louise Cameron MSYP, has called on the political leaders of Scotland and the United Kingdom to include lowering the voting age to 16 as part a new devolution settlement for Scotland and the wider United Kingdom.

Speaking after the First Minister praised the level of engagement among 16 and 17 years old in the Scottish independence referendum, and a pledge from Ed Miliband at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, Cameron said that lowering the voting age must be part of any new agreed devolution settlement.

Cameron, an 18 year old from Moray and Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament said:

“The Scottish Youth Parliament and our partners have campaigned for the voting age to be lowered since the Scottish Parliament was established 15 years ago. When this was included in the Edinburgh Agreement, we accepted the opportunity to engage and inform young voters.

“The opportunity was also for the young people of Scotland to prove that they take the right to vote seriously and justify for it to be extended across all UK elections. With over 80% of young people registered to vote, young people have proven that we take our right to vote seriously, and we have earned an extension of the voting age to all elections.

“As Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, I know how engaged young people have been over the recent months. As an organisation, we have been working hard to remove any potential barriers to participation. Scotland’s young people have been on an amazing journey. The national discussion about the future of Scotland has captivated an entire generation of young people. We have an opportunity to harness this engagement and ensure it continues for future elections and I urge the Prime Minister and the UK Government to look to our experience in Scotland when considering a new devolution settlement for Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.”