Tory MP says giving 16-17 year olds vote 'will make them sex abuse targets' - is immediately mocked
Tory MP David Nuttall has been immediately mocked by colleagues (and the internet) after suggesting giving 16 and 17 year-olds the right to vote would make them more likely to be sexually abused.
Nuttall, who is MP for Bury North, asked the Home Secretary whether she agreed with him that giving the vote to 16 and 17 year olds would mean they were more open to sexual abuse, prompting noises of disbelief from most of the MPs present in the House of Commons:
"Does my Right Honourable Friend agree with me that if 16- and 17-year-olds are given the vote it increases the likelihood they will be regarded and treated as adults, and therefore increases the likelihood of them becoming victims of sexual exploitation?"
It appears that David Nuttalls thinks that the first question every predator asks is "who did you vote for in the last general election?" and if the answer is "I wasn't eligible to vote due to 16 and 17 year olds being disenfranchised" they will immediately let you go.
The MP was immediately put down by Theresa May, who told him she did not think the two issues were linked:
"I say to my Right Honourable Friend I would not link the issue of the age of voting with the issue of child sexual exploitation."
Nuttall's comment was also mocked online by Lib Dem leader Tim Farron.
Whilst the argument may seem tenuous, or just outright odd, this isn't even the first time it's been put forward in Parliament. In June, Labour MP Barry Sheerman made a similar statement:
"Isn't what is missing out of this, is the responsibility we have to care for young people who are very vulnerable?"
"Up and down this country we've had vulnerability to sexual predators and ghastly things happening right though to 18, up and down this country."
"This move to adults at 16 will make a lot of young men and women more vulnerable to sexual predation than happens at the moment."
Meanwhile, online, the mocking continues...