Overseas Electors Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:30 pm on 22nd March 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Philip Davies Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley 1:30 pm, 22nd March 2019

My hon. Friend is right to ask me to elaborate. If he were to look up how the IBRL operates he would see that its “At a Glance” guide says customers can

“Receive direct mail responses from overseas customers” and

“Only pay for the responses you receive”,

which is all fine, but the third part says:

“Responses arrive in 7-10 working days”,

I hope my hon. Friend will consider that that might cause a difficulty. That is from the IBRL’s “At a Glance” guide to its service, and it seems to me that that might not be wholly suitable for an election, especially when we are dealing with huge volumes and all the rest of it. That is why I put that provision into the new clause: because I am not sure it fits the bill. The Government should have a duty to consider that very carefully and see whether there is a better system that should be used.

I am sure we all have examples of possible problems. In my part of the world in the Bradford district we have had some terrible things happen with postal voting and postal vote fraud over the years, and we must always be very careful. When we are having a huge extension of voting and of postal voting we must be cautious, and this provision is merely an attempt to show some caution in moving forward and make sure we are not causing problems that might not have been expected at the time.