…By Lola Smith for TDPel Media.
A suggestion made by a conservative former minister regarding the introduction of voter ID has sparked calls for further investigation.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, a former Cabinet minister, implied that the implementation of voter ID was an attempt at gerrymandering, which ultimately backfired for the Conservatives in the recent local elections.
Rees-Mogg’s Controversial Statement
Speaking at the National Conservatism conference in Westminster, Rees-Mogg stated, “Parties that try and gerrymander end up finding their clever scheme comes back to bite them, as dare I say we found by insisting on voter ID for elections.”
This remark suggests that the introduction of voter ID was a deliberate strategy to influence electoral outcomes, but it did not achieve the desired result for the Conservative Party.
Concerns Raised by Dawn Butler
Dawn Butler, a former minister from the Labour Party, expressed deep concern over Rees-Mogg’s comments and even considered reporting them to the Parliamentary Standards Authority or the police.
Butler argued that Rees-Mogg admitted to using voter ID as a means of manipulating electoral outcomes for partisan advantage, which she referred to as gerrymandering.
She emphasized that such actions undermine the fairness and security of the democratic process.
The Justification and Alleged Government Fraud
The policy of requiring voter ID was initially justified as a measure to combat voter fraud.
However, Butler raised doubts about this justification, suggesting that the government itself could be engaged in fraudulent activities.
She questioned whether she should report these allegations to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner and the police.
Response from the Deputy Commons Speaker
Dame Rosie Winterton, the Deputy Commons Speaker, advised Butler that if she intends to pursue the matter through official channels, she should refrain from discussing it further in the House.
However, Winterton acknowledged that Rees-Mogg would have heard Butler’s concerns, and she suggested leaving it at that, expecting the Treasury bench to address the issue.
Calls for Correcting Previous Claims
Helen Morgan, a Liberal Democrat MP, expressed her shock and disappointment at Rees-Mogg’s suggestion that voter ID was an attempt at gerrymandering.
She called for the Minister for Communities, Lee Rowley, to come to the Commons and clarify or correct his previous statements from February, where he claimed that voter ID was not a suppression tactic.
The controversy surrounding the introduction of voter ID continues to generate debate and calls for investigation.
Rees-Mogg’s remarks have raised suspicions about potential gerrymandering and the true intentions behind the policy.
Dawn Butler’s concerns highlight the need to ensure the fairness and security of the democratic process.
The response from the Deputy Commons Speaker suggests that formal channels should be pursued for addressing such allegations.
Furthermore, Helen Morgan’s demand for clarification from the Minister for Communities underscores the need for transparency and accurate information regarding the government’s stance on voter ID.
These developments highlight the ongoing scrutiny and skepticism surrounding the issue of voter ID in British politics.