'The highly wrong voter ID law is a load of nonsense'

10 May 2021, 14:22

By Fiona Jones

Shadow Public Health Minister Alex Norris condemned the compulsory voter ID law expected to be announced in the Queen's speech on Tuesday.

The controversial measure is aimed at tackling voter fraud, with Brits being required to bring photo ID to the polls if they want to cast a vote in UK general elections, local council elections in England, and police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales.

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.

Critics have said the plans would disadvantage ethnic minority voters and those on lower incomes, with senior Conservative David Davis branding it an ‘illiberal solution for non-existent problem.’

Labour MP Alex Norris branded it "a load of old nonsense."

He continued: "It's a solution in search of a problem. In the 2019 general election, a big turnout election, 59 million people voted. There is precisely one case of voter personalisation.

"You're basically more likely to be struck by lightning three times than that happen. So why on earth the Government, with all the challenges we've got in front of us in the country, go into this really divisive scrap is beyond me."

Shelagh commented that the people "who typically would have the kind of ID required are more likely to vote Tory than Labour."

"Is this a bit of gerrymandering on the quiet?" she asked Mr Norris.

"I think there's no doubt...this is a highly political process," he said, "just like the attempts to abolish the preferential voting system that we used very successfully over the weekend.

" All of this is designed with an end...I think it's wholly wrong."

The Queen’s speech, which lays out the government’s plans for the next parliamentary session, is not expected to include the reforms to adult social care which were promised in the Conservative manifesto, a delay which Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove put down partly to a lack of cross-party support for the reforms.

The speech, which will take place tomorrow, will be a smaller-scale event than usual due to Covid-19 regulations.