Berkhamsted and Tring MYPs speak out on lowering the age of consent

Berkhamsted’s member of the UK Youth Parliament has rejected calls to lower the age of consent to 15 – but her Tring counterpart is keeping more of an open mind about it.

Kirsty Robertson and Ahmed Al-Maadanli spoke out after a chief health adviser said the change would make it easier for 15-year-olds to get sexual health advice from the NHS.

Member of UK Youth Parliament Kirsty Robertson.

Member of UK Youth Parliament Kirsty Robertson.

Faculty of Public Health president Prof John Ashton said a third of youngsters are already having sex at 14 or 15 – even though the current age of consent is 16.

But Berkhamsted’s Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) Kirsty Robertson, 17, said: “We must not try to press adult life onto them too quickly. I think it is still important that we give them that right to still have that time as a young person.

“I do not think we should be pressing too many responsibilities onto them at such a young age.”

She said they have enough changes and pressures to cope in their lives as it is, including having to study for exams.

Member of Herts Youth Parliament Ahmed Al-Maadanli

Member of Herts Youth Parliament Ahmed Al-Maadanli

But she said more needs to be done to offer universal, impartial advice on sex and relationships to young people.

Tring’s MYP Ahmed Al-Maadanli, 15, said young people should be surveyed on whether to lower the age of consent – rather than leaving adults to decide for them.

He agreed that more should be done to educate youngsters about sexual health, but said he would have to research further before deciding whether to back a lower age of consent.

But he said: “If two people are both in love and they are 15, who’s to say it’s wrong?”