Mandatory voter photo ID branded 'backwards step borrowed from US' by Sadiq Khan

10 May 2021, 11:25 | Updated: 10 May 2021, 13:14

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

'Boris Johnson is borrowing policies from the US. It's a backwards step' Mayor of London Sadiq Khan gives James O'Brien his take on plans to require photo ID to vote in general elections.

With measures to tackle voting fraud expected to be introduced LBC's James O'Brien asked the newly re-elected Mayor of London Sadiq Khan for his views.

Amid reports of plans for compulsory voter photo ID law expected to be included in Queen's speech the Mayor said it would be a step backwards.

James pointed out that the UK has "next to no record of electoral fraud at the ballot box."

The Electoral Commission has said the UK has "low levels of proven electoral fraud" and that there "remains no evidence of large-scale electoral fraud in 2019".

Read more: Queen's Speech: Compulsory voter photo ID law expected to be included

Mr Khan said the "concern" was that "Boris Johnson is borrowing some of his policies from America."

He said these policies around voting could "discourage people who you think may not vote for you to vote."

The Mayor urged for it to be "made easier for people to vote safely and lawfully."

The newly re-elected Mayor said that many people across London and the whole of the UK do not have sufficient photographic ID meaning they would be unable to vote.

"I think that's a step backwards rather than a step forwards."

The proposals, which are expected to be announced on Tuesday, will also include tighter rules on voting and voter intimidation, and limits on the number of postal votes a person can hand in at a polling station on behalf of others.

If the plans go ahead, voters will need to show photographic ID in order to vote in UK general elections, as well as local council elections in England and police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales.

Critics have said the plans would disadvantage ethnic minority voters and those on lower incomes.