The Government are delivering a programme of work to strengthen the integrity of our electoral system and ensure that elections are secure and fit for the 21st century. Validated figures will be published as part of the evaluations undertaken both by the Cabinet Office and by the independent Electoral Commission of the 2019 pilots.
According to interim figures for the pilot areas in May, 800 people were denied a vote because of ID requirements, yet last year there were only eight reported cases of personation fraud across the whole country. Is not the reality that this is not about protecting our electoral system—it is about voter suppression?
It is always a pleasure to be asked a question by the hon. Gentleman. We are taking a range of measures to secure the protection of our electoral system, and I do not think that an ID check that originated in the 19th century and that was based on a small percentage of the community—and I must say, men—voting, where everyone was known, is still fit in the 21st century.
I thank my hon. Friend for his question. A range of work was done locally, supported by the Electoral Commission and the Cabinet Office with councils’ consent, to ensure that voters were aware of the requirements. The indications so far are that that has been successful, but of course we will look at the Electoral Commission’s independent review before making further decisions on the process.