Lowering consent age 'no way to tackle teen pregnancy'

Labour has opposed calls by a leading health expert to lower the age of consent, calling instead for mandatory sex and relationship education.

Shadow public health minister Luciana Berger said the party had tried to get such changes enshrined in law but Tory MPs blocked the moves in Parliament.

Lowering the age of consent is not the way to tackle teenage pregnancy and we are against such a move.

The teenage pregnancy rate fell substantially under the last Labour government. But sexual health clinics are now closing their doors and young people are struggling to get appointments.

Labour has called for improved sex and relationship education, and tabled amendments to recent legislation for it to be made mandatory, not voluntary, in all schools. Regrettably, the change was voted down by Tory MPs.

– Shadow public health minister Luciana Berger

Read: Lowering age of consent could 'draw line in the sand'

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Age of consent calls rejected

The Government has rejected calls from a leading public health expert to lower the age of consent, from 16 to 15. Professor John Ashton says society sends "confused" signals about when sex is permitted.