Overseas Electors Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:45 pm on 22nd March 2019.

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Photo of Neil O'Brien Neil O'Brien Conservative, Harborough 1:45 pm, 22nd March 2019

At risk of doing further damage to my career, I strongly agree with my hon. Friend about the menace of people voting in multiple places and the need for strong sentences for those who do. His new clause 11 suggests that people who vote in two constituencies should be eligible for up to a level 5 fine. For other types of electoral offence—for example, false registration of information, false registration in relation to postal voting, personation and so on—a person can receive a level 5 fine and a six-month sentence, and for things such as postal voting fraud they can get a two-year sentence and an unlimited fine.

Does my hon. Friend agree that we might want to rationalise the existing system for these different offences—there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it—and that we should review the maximum level 5 fine if it does not prove sufficient to deter people from committing what is a serious anti-democratic crime?