Skip to main content

Postal Voting

Volume 528: debated on Tuesday 24 May 2011

6. What recent assessment he has made of arrangements for the provision of postal votes on demand. (56964)

We have made no specific assessment of postal voting on demand, but we of course keep postal voting under review as we consider electoral administration in general.

There have been widespread reports of shocking abuses of postal votes, especially in areas with high levels of multiple occupancy housing. Will my hon. Friend tell the House what steps the Government are taking to stamp out postal vote fraud and ensure honesty in our elections?

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that question. He will know that we are introducing individual voter registration before the next general election, which will mean that everyone who wants to cast an absent vote, a postal vote in this case, will have to register individually and provide their identifiers to their registration officer in order to make the register more secure.

Conservative Members are very prone to making rash statements about alleged postal vote fraud, and not just in this House, but in another place. I have been in correspondence with the Minister and regularly asked the Leader of the House whether he can get Baroness Warsi to retract her statement that the Conservative party was robbed of a majority at the last election because of electoral fraud on behalf of the Labour party, particularly in the Asian community. Although a Cabinet member, she resolutely refuses to reply. Will the Minister do so now on her behalf?

The right hon. Gentleman raised this matter at business questions. My right hon. Friend the Leader of the House drew it to my attention, as I am the Minister responsible for that policy area, and I replied as quickly as possible and gave the right hon. Gentleman a full answer. If he wishes to raise it with me again and ask me anything—[Interruption.] If Labour Members would actually listen, they might hear my answer. If he would like to ask me anything that I have not already answered in my letter, I would be delighted to write to him again.