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  The MiP files: Fighting for your voting rights!
Updated 14 January 2003, 10.33
Man in Parliament
A new year - and our Man in Parliament is back on the case, digging up the stories that matter.

Check out his exclusive info and secret goss every Tuesday!

You can also ask him questions and get him to track down your MP. Go to the bottom of the page for how.


If you thought parliament was just full of boring old men falling asleep, think again.

Some of them have been speaking up for your rights.

They reckon it's not fair that, if you're under 18, you can't vote in elections - which means you can't help decide who runs the country.

So in parliament last week, Conservative politician Lord Lucas won lots of support for his idea that the voting age should be reduced to 16.

He thinks it's wrong that 16-year-olds are allowed to get married and join the army but can't vote.

He also reckons that letting people vote at 16 would increase interest in the world of politics.

But the government says 18 is the age most people around the world get the chance to vote.

And it doesn't look like they will agree to cut the voting age to 16.

What do you think though? Should you be allowed to vote at 16?

Or do you agree with politicians who reckon you're not mature enough at that age?

The city of Liverpool is famous for lots of things - footie, the Beatles, Atomic Kitten....

But if one politician has his way it could also be famous as the capital city of the UK!

MP Adam Price reckons the idea would help to end what he says is a divide between the rich south and the poorer north.

It was all change at parliament last week - and a chance for politicians to get home from work early.

They used to work most nights until about 10pm and sometimes later.

Now, because of changes supposed to make parliament more up-to-date, they've got a chance of being home in time for EastEnders!

"Bad pupil behaviour in schools is not the fault of the government or of any political party, but it is a growing and serious problem"
Conservative MP Sir Nicholas Winterton

I bumped into Charles Kennedy, leader of the Liberal Democrat party, as he popped out of his office at lunchtime one day last week.

Perhaps he was after some sale bargains in the shops!

Each week our MiP will give you the chance to have your MP identified.

Just send us your name and postcode using the boxes at the bottom and he'll do the rest.

This week, Thomas, 8, from Ewell, Surrey, gets his MP identified.

Chris Grayling
Where are you from?
I live in Ashtead, in Surrey. I was born in London and brought up in Buckinghamshire.
School nickname:

Greatest achievement:
Getting 25,000 people to back a campaign to stop Epsom Hospital from being partially closed.
My family and friends.
Last movie I saw:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Football team:
Manchester United and Leeds - but definitely not Chelsea!!
MP I admire:
Oliver Letwin, the Conservative Shadow Home Secretary. He wins arguments without being unnecessarily rude to the other side.
Were you interested in politics as a child?
Yes - whenever we were asked what we wanted to do when we were older, I always said that I wanted to be a politician.
Why does politics matter?
Because the things we debate at Westminster affect everyone's lives - so we have to get them right.
What one thing would you change tomorrow?
I'd build more trams and do lots of things to improve all our transport system.
Thomas also asked: "Do you support the USA over Iraq?": Yes - we should always support our friends, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't tell them if we think they are doing something wrong.


Got a question for our Man in Parliament?

Want to know who your MP is?

Send stuff to him using this form!

Your first name

Your age

Your town

Your postcode

Any comments or questions for our MiP

Send us your details if you'd like us to hunt out your MP! We'll put a new one up each week.

More InfoBORDER=0
PicturesPhotos of the top MPs
Find OutHow does Parliament work?


Past StoriesBORDER=0
MiP file: The Queen comes into town
The MiP files: Why Blair listens to Foo Fighters!
The MiP files: Threat to cod and chips!
The MiP files: How much is spent on you?
The MiP files: Anger about pet shop plans
The MiP files: Inside Tony Blair's house!


Web Links
UK Parliament site for kids
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Also in The MiP files now:
MiP Files: The prime minister's crucial week
MiP file: Tory leader faces off with PM
MiP files: A new leader for the Tories?
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