Age of consent is right as it is says, says Clegg

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Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg has rejected any moves to lower the age of consent from 16 to 15 following calls from a leading health expert.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the age of consent had been in British law for generations to protect children.

“I think this health expert is right in saying there’s a problem - we have far too high levels of teenage pregnancy,” he said.

“Do I simply think a blanket reduction in the age of consent is the answer to this difficult dilemma? No.

“I am worried, like everybody is, about the sexualisation, the culture and the information so many young people are bombarded with,” Mr Clegg said.

“I am constantly urging Michael Gove to update and modernise sex education in schools which has not kept up with the internet age.

“So yes, there is a problem. Yes we need a debate. Yes we need to update sex education. But this is not the answer.”

Mr Clegg’s views were backed by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Prof John Ashton, president of the Faculty of Public Health, had called for a change to make it easier for 15-year-olds to seek contraception.