Clause 1 - Voter identification

Part of Elections Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 22nd September 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch Minister for Equalities, Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government), Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office), Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (jointly with Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) 2:00 pm, 22nd September 2021

I think that those are things that we can work out as we progress. We all know that those sorts of details would not end up in a Bill such as this one. We also need to be able to give flexibility. What we can say is that we want to encourage as many people as possible to take up these cards, and we will do whatever we can to ensure that that is the case.

Let me go back to the point that I was making about voter suppression. We hear again and again, particularly from Labour, that any change to boundaries or elections is all about keeping voters away and gerrymandering. I completely and utterly reject that. I was not a Member in 2014, but I remember that Labour claimed that the roll-out of individual voter registration in the country was going to suppress voters. Labour Members said that it was terrible, that we should not do it and that we should instead allow the head of household to register everyone. As we said earlier, that was about bringing things into line with Northern Ireland, and it is worth mentioning that the electoral register in the 2019 general election was at its highest-ever level. The last thing that Labour said was going to be suppressing voters did not do that, and I am absolutely confident, given all the evidence we have seen and heard, that this will not do so either.