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Clause 8 — Reports of the Boundary Commissions

Part of House of Commons Disqualification (Amendment) – in the House of Commons at 8:15 pm on 19th October 2010.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Shadow Minister (Justice) (Political and Constitutional Reform) 8:15 pm, 19th October 2010

My hon. Friend, now the Member for Swansea West, is right, in the sense that the level of registration makes a dramatic difference to the issues that were raised by Gavin Barwell, which were not sufficiently addressed by the British Academy report. It perhaps takes someone who is used to knocking on doors and discovering that the electoral register has large gaps in it to make that kind of analysis. My anxiety is that many local authorities do not engage in proper canvassing, and consequently seem to take a rather lackadaisical attitude towards getting people on to the register. Local authorities should be saying, "We know you exist, because you're being paid benefits. The least that we can do is put you on the electoral register and not make it almost impossible for you to register."