Gordon MP Richard Thomson has slammed North-east Conservative MPs for voting in favour of the UK Government’s Elections Bill in the House of Commons this week.
Under Tory plans voters will be required to show photographic ID before casting their ballot in UK General Elections.
Critics have described the move as voter suppression and said the Bill will make it harder for already disenfranchised communities to vote.
Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:
“This is a Bill which met with widespread opposition – not least from the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, which has a Conservative majority – and will make it more difficult for people to vote, remove the element of trust within the electoral system and give Downing Street more power over the election watchdog.
“The highly-respected charity Age UK has said that 500,000 older citizens would not vote if voter ID was introduced and similar fears of disenfranchisement have been expressed by BAME and disabled groups.
“The Elections Bill is not only deeply flawed but it is an outright attack on democracy from a Tory Government that seems intent on disenfranchising sections of the electorate. The Electoral Reform Society has already warned that the Bill will lead to millions of people being 'effectively locked out of democracy' and could lead to voter 'disenfranchisement on an industrial scale.'
"With millions of people across the UK not holding a form of photo ID, the grim reality is that their democratic rights will not be strengthened - they will be ripped away from them.
"These measures do not strengthen our democratic processes – the number of cases of voter impersonation is minimal – and forcing through ID requirements are nothing short of a blatant attempt at election rigging.”