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Voter Identification: Minority Groups

Volume 738: debated on Monday 16 October 2023

14. What assessment he has made of the impact of the Government’s voter identification policies on the turnout of minority groups at elections. (906522)

As we committed to doing in legislation, we are conducting an evaluation of the impact of voter identification at the May polls. We will publish that evaluation no later than November this year.

The Electoral Commission’s report into voter ID is utterly damning. It found that awareness of the new rules was lowest among black and minority ethnic communities, and take-up of voter authority certificates was minimal. Even the Government’s own MPs can see the reality of this failed experiment. The right hon. Member for North East Somerset (Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg) said:

“Parties that try and gerrymander end up finding their clever scheme comes back to bite them”.

Does the Minister agree with her own Conservative colleagues?

I remind the hon. Lady that 99.75% of the electorate were able to vote successfully. I also remind her that it was the Electoral Commission that called for voter identification. It has existed in Northern Ireland for two decades and was introduced under a Labour Government, and it exists in most European countries.

On the hon. Lady’s point about ethnic minorities, everyone deserves fair and free elections, and it has been ethnic minorities in areas such as Tower Hamlets and Birmingham who have been the victims of electoral fraud.