Sunday 4 July 2021 / 10:30 PM Cat Smith / Voter Engagement

Conservatives “threatening British democracy” with multi-million-pound “Trumpian vote-rigging plans” which will lock millions out of democracy

Ahead of the publication of the government’s Elections Bill today (Monday 5th July) Labour is urging Ministers to drop their “undemocratic” and “discriminatory” plans to make photo ID mandatory for people to be able to exercise their democratic right to vote at the next election. Labour is accusing the Conservatives of “blatant voter suppression” and wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on “dirty election tactics” when they can’t apparently find the money to give our nurses a pay rise.

Labour’s Shadow Minister for Democracy, Cat Smith, has accused Conservative Ministers of “using the cover of the pandemic to rig democracy in their favour”, in yet another example of the Conservatives bending the rules to benefit themselves.

The Bill comes despite the Government facing a Supreme Court challenge to their Voter ID pilots which could rule that these plans are illegal. Labour can reveal that the earliest the Supreme Court will hear the case is January 2022, meaning the Government could be forcing a potentially illegal mandatory voter ID policy through Parliament.

The Elections Bill will also include changes to overseas voting laws which will allow rich Conservative donors unlimited access to our democracy, opening the floodgates and letting foreign money into our politics.

Cat Smith, Shadow Minister for Democracy, responding to the Government’s Elections Bill, said:

Voter ID is a total waste of taxpayers’ money, set to cost millions of pounds at every election and yet the government apparently can’t afford to give our nurses a pay rise. Voting is safe and secure in Britain. Ministers should be promoting confidence in our elections instead of spreading baseless scare stories which threaten our democracy – this Trumpian tactic has no place in our democracy.

“We’ve already seen how Conservative Ministers ignore the rules, now they are trying to change the rules and rig our democracy in their favour. First it was using the cover of the pandemic to hand out taxpayers’ money to their mates, now it’s using the cover of the pandemic to threaten British democracy. These plans must be stopped.

“It doesn’t matter how the government tries to dress it up, these plans will make it harder for working class, older and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Britons to vote. They know this is the case because their own research shows that millions of our fellow citizens lack photo ID in this country.”