Skip to main content

Democratic Inclusion

Volume 689: debated on Thursday 11 February 2021

This Government are committed to enhancing inclusivity in our democracy. We provide funding to a number of initiatives and organisations to encourage younger people, including the National Citizen Service, the UK Youth Parliament, and the British Council. Online registration makes it easier than ever to register to vote. We are also leading a programme of work to ensure that our elections are more accessible for people living with disabilities.

More than 2 million people in the UK have sight loss, and a recent RNIB report found that less than half of blind and partially sighted people are satisfied with their experience of voting. When will the Government introduce the RNIB recommendations?

The hon. Gentleman makes a very important point. We should do everything we can to ensure that people living with disabilities, including those with visual impairment, can be fully included in the democratic process, and we will be coming back shortly with thoughts about the RNIB’s helpful proposals.

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people already experience low levels of democratic engagement, and racism, hostility and discrimination. With many lacking ID, the Government’s voter ID plans are set to systematically exclude GRT people. Instead of working to break down barriers and improve accessibility, why are Ministers putting their energy into creating barriers to voting for the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people?

We do not want to create any barriers to anyone voting. We take seriously our responsibilities to ensure that all groups within society, including Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people, have full access to all of their democratic rights.