Sandwell MP John Spellar angrily accused the Conservative Party of attempting to suppress voter participation in Westminster today.
In the heated exchange, which took place during Cabinet Office questions, Mr Spellar accused the Government of using tactics “straight out of the Donald Trump disinformation playbook” in wishing to make voters carry identification while voting.
Mr Spellar later added: “The Government is pursuing policy with zero evidence to support it. The Tories are irresponsibly trying to engineer panic over voter fraud and to use it to supress voter registration and turnout.”
“The Government’s plans for Voter ID put additional and unnecessary barriers for ordinary people keen to get out and vote. We should be encouraging voters to participate in our democracy, not creating making it more difficult.”
“Are we not supposed to have policy driven by evidence, and is it not significant that the Minister gave not one shred of evidence in his reply? Quite frankly, in every election there are one or two cases of people being convicted of fraud, out of tens of millions of voters. This is straight out of the Donald Trump disinformation playbook, because Ministers are again trying to suppress voter participation. The Minister cannot come up with any evidence-if anyone has such evidence, they should take it to the police-and he should be ashamed of himself.”
“I missed the last part of that rant, but this idea has the backing of the Electoral Commission and electoral authorities, so that we can deliver a secure democracy that has the confidence of the public. The last Electoral Commission report on the subject shows that 38% of people felt that electoral fraud was an issue. Since 2010, 2,394 alleged cases of electoral fraud have been reported to the Electoral Commission.”