The MSYP for Irvine and Kilwinning has hit out at the UK Parliament after MPs failed to allow a 'Votes @ 16' bill to proceed to the floor.

While 16-year-olds can vote in Scottish elections, voting in general elections across the UK is still restricted to over 18s.

Current MSYP Aaran McDonald joined former youth parliamentarians to call for action to be taken and for MPs to be allowed a vote when the debate reconvenes on December 1.

MSYP for Cunninghame South Aaran McDonald, 15, said: "I was upset and hurt when listening to the debate and hearing some of the excuses and reasons being used by some parliamentarians. They included derogatory comments like young people are 'undereducated and underdeveloped' or worse that somehow voting is a risk to our and the nation’s health.

"16 and 17year olds can pay tax, start a family, and join up to serve in our armed forces yet they can’t decide who runs the government, It just doesn’t add up!

“Shocking, Upsetting and demoralising are just some of the words that could be used to describe the actions of some MPs in the debate. MPs managed to effectively Filibuster the bill and prevent a closure vote."

Former MSYP for Cunninghame North and Scottish Youth Parliament Trustee Sian Hughes said: “Young people should have the right to have a say on the important issues that affect them. Gone are the days when young people were disengaged and followed the status quo. Today's young people are intelligent and engaged and have the capacity and capability to have their say. We need votes at 16 at a national level because we as young people are represented at a national level and having members of parliament making decisions about issues that affect young people without being voted for by young people is not a democracy.

"Especially in these uncertain times we need stability and a clear focus for the future and votes at 16 will assist in the move towards a greater and more inclusive democracy.”

Nairn McDonald, former MSYP for Cunninghame South and who recently stood as the Labour candidate for the Central Ayrshire seat, said: “I felt angry and upset hearing the horrid and derogatory comments being made during the debate by certain members of parliament. They used the same type of put downs and insults that were used during the women’s suffragette movement and they failed then and they will fail now.

"The excuses and comments by some MPs weren’t just insulting there were down right vile and these MPs should remember they are there to represent everyone in their constituency including the young people and they failed on that count!

"I hope by the time this bill is brought back to the floor of the house for debate again in December these MPs have reflected and do the right thing and get on the right side of history and vote for Votes @ 16!”