Boris Johnson thanks villagers who turned him away from polling station after forgetting to bring his ID

4 May 2024, 10:31 | Updated: 4 May 2024, 10:55

Boris Johnson was initially turned away from his polling place after forgetting to bring a valid ID - despite the rule being introduced by him when he was Prime Minister.
Boris Johnson was initially turned away from his polling place after forgetting to bring a valid ID - despite the rule being introduced by him when he was Prime Minister. Picture: Alamy

By Will Conroy

Boris Johnson has thanked three villagers for turning him away from a polling station on Thursday after the former prime minister attempted to vote without a valid ID.

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Mr Johnson said he tried to use a copy of Prospect magazine as identification but was turned away by the local electorate officials.

It was during his time in Downing Street that Mr Johnson made it a requirement to provide photo ID in order to vote, as part of the Elections Act 2022.

Writing for the Daily Mail, Mr Johnson said: “I want to pay a particular tribute to the three villagers who on Thursday rightly turned me away when I appeared in the polling station with nothing to prove my identity except the sleeve of my copy of Prospect magazine, on which my name and address had been printed.

“I showed it to them and they looked very dubious… within minutes I was back with my driving licence and voted Tory.”

Read more: Boris Johnson forgets ID when arriving at polling station to vote - despite introducing the rule himself

Read more: Boris Johnson breached government rules by being ‘evasive’ about links to hedge fund

Mr Johnson's decision that voters have to present ID caused controversy over fears it would act as a barrier to voting, particularly among disadvantaged groups.

Britain's voters headed to the polls on Thursday as a nationwide series of local elections got underway, accompanied by a parliamentary by-election.

Over 2,600 council seats across 107 local authorities in England were up for grabs and with nearly all results declared, the Conservatives have lost almost 450 councillors.

The results of 10 high-profile mayoral races in major cities and regional authorities, including London and the West Midlands, are expected to be announced on Saturday while the capital is also due to learn who has been elected to the London Assembly.

Separately, 37 police and crime commissioner roles were decided upon across England and Wales through Thursday's balloting.

Mr Johnson was looking to vote in South Oxfordshire, where a police and crime commissioner for Thames Valley was being elected.

The Blackpool South by-election garnered particular attention, with Labour taking the constituency from the Conservatives after Chris Webb secured a 26.3% swing, wiping out the Tories' 2019 general election majority of 3,690.

The by-election was triggered following the resignation of former Conservative Scott Benton.

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