Dagenham and Rainham MP labels government's voter ID scheme a 'disgrace'

The Boundary Commission has announced revised proposals for constituency boundaries (Picture: Rui Vi

The Boundary Commission has announced revised proposals for constituency boundaries (Picture: Rui Vieira/PA) - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Jon Cruddas has described government plans to introduce voter ID as a "disgrace" and called for the plans to be scrapped.

The government wants to make voter ID mandatory at the next election to "stamp out" the potential for voter fraud.

Dagenham and Rainham MP Mr Cruddas has claimed that requiring voters to produce photo ID at polling stations would stop millions of people exercising a democratic right.

Jon Cruddas

Jon Cruddas is backing a bid for a Thames Freeport which if successful could benefit from tax reliefs, simplified customs procedures and wider government support. - Credit: Pawel Szewczyk

Mr Cruddas said: "Millions of people lack photo ID in this country - in particular the elderly, low income and black, Asian and ethnic minority voters.

"The Conservatives are reversing decades of democratic progress and urgently need to rethink this pointless policy.

"The reality is that the Tories are attempting to price people out of democracy and it is a disgrace."

Labour has raised concerns the plan will affect turnout in part because of the costs associated with some ID documents.

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Under the scheme, a passport, driver's license, concessionary travel pass, photocard blue badge parking permit or proof of age cards are among the accepted forms of identification. A standard, adult passport costs £75.50. 

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said everyone who is eligible to vote will be able to do so and government research has shown that 98 per cent of electors already have photo ID which appears on the list of acceptable types of identification.

Local authorities will also be required by law to provide a free voter card when someone eligible to vote doesn't have an approved form of ID.

She added: "In our current electoral system, there is inexcusable potential for someone to cast another's vote at the polling station.

"Stealing someone's vote is stealing their voice. Voter fraud is a crime that we cannot allow room for so the government is stamping out any potential for it to take place."

The spokesperson went on to say that the perception the UK's electoral system is "vulnerable" to fraud damages public confidence.

"If the public are more confident in our democratic system, they are more likely to participate in it," she said.

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