Tory plans for national service for teenagers a 'distraction', says Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey
-Credit: (Image: Jacob King/PA Wire)

Sir Ed Davey branded Tory plans for mandatory national service a “distraction”.

The Liberal Democrats leader said his party agreed with Labour's pledge to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote.

Sir Ed told the PA news agency: “The Liberal Democrats have long supported votes from 16 and I’m glad other parties are now catching up with us.

“All I’d say is as political reforms go, it’s an important one but it’s quite small. We need to transform our politics.

“As for this distraction of a policy by the Conservatives on national service, the hypocrisy is just breath-taking.

“What we need is full-time, professional, highly trained troops. We’ve got the best army in the world and we should be backing it.”

On Saturday, while on the General Election campaign trail, Sir Ed said that the British political system was "broken".

He added: “I think we’ve all seen the last few years that unless we transform our political system, we won’t get the changes in our health service and our economy and the environment that we need.

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