All 4 Lord Willetts contributions to the Elections Act 2022

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Wed 23rd Feb 2022
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Mon 21st Mar 2022
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Wed 6th Apr 2022
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Wed 27th Apr 2022
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Consideration of Commons amendments & Consideration of Commons amendments

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Lord Willetts Portrait Lord Willetts (Con)
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My Lords, I join in the many congratulations to the noble Lord, Lord Moore, on his excellent maiden speech and give him a warm welcome to this House—and perhaps share with him a reflection from when I arrived in this House from the other place six years ago. One of things that first struck me, having been an MP, was that, unlike the other place, we did not have—if I may say so, with enormous respect—a Speaker who had the powers that the Speaker has in the other place. This Chamber functions rather differently. It functions on the principle that we agree on how we will disagree.

That principle, embodied in the way in which we function, is very relevant to the debate on this legislation, because it is part of a sustained constitutional settlement that a nation agrees on how we will disagree. That is why my first request to the Minister, who I know reflects on these issues, is that I hope that spirit can somehow infuse our debates and consideration of amendments to this legislation in the days and weeks ahead.

I would like to make two particular points. First, on the issue of voter ID, I understand that the case for the measure appears to be the precautionary principle, rather than evidence that there is widespread abuse at the moment. I am concerned that there is a risk that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of voters who do not have a photo ID and do not seek the extra document that the Government are proposing may find that they are unable to vote. So I hope that the Minister will consider adding to the list of acceptable robust documentation, as a minimum measure to reduce the risk of substantial numbers of people being deterred from voting by this provision.

Perhaps I might comment on a second issue: voter registration. I very much agree with the points that the noble Lord, Lord Janvrin, has just made. The current system is crying out for reform. It needs of course to be robust and it needs to be modernised—and here I am particularly concerned by an issue which I know the Minister himself has focused on, because he chaired an excellent committee of this House on the very issue: young people. One of the arguments used when one talks about the challenges facing young people is that if young people were really bothered, instead of being so apathetic, they should go out and vote, and if only they voted at the same rate as everyone else, politicians would pay more attention.

We did some research at the Resolution Foundation on why young people had a lower propensity to vote. The biggest single factor by far was that more and more of them are in private rented accommodation and it is very hard to get on the register if you are moving around in private rented accommodation. They are not apathetic. They are finding it hard to get on the register, and it would be wonderful if, as part of this legislation, there were bold moves to reform voter registration so that, while protecting legitimacy and rigour, we also ensure that as many people as possible who have a legal right to vote are on the register.

If I may say to the Minister, who has a deep understanding of Conservative history and tradition, as does the noble Lord, Lord Moore, he will be familiar with Disraeli’s bold move in bringing in the 1867 Act —the biggest single extension of the franchise since the Great Reform Act 1832—and with the Conservative Party’s part in the steady process of extending the franchise over a century. There were Conservatives who thought that Disraeli’s move was electorally suicidal and that the Conservative Party should be trying to restrict the franchise rather than broaden it. But Disraeli discerned the angels in marble: the potential voters out there who could be attracted to the Conservative cause. Engels, observing the subsequent election from Manchester, wrote to Marx:

“It cannot be denied that the increase of working-class voters has brought the Tories more than their simple percentage increase”.


He was very surprised at what happened and went on to say:

“Once again, the proletariat has discredited itself terribly”.


I very much hope that as the Minister and the Government approach the fraught issue of this legislation, they approach it in the spirit of Disraeli.

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Lord Willetts Excerpts
Lords Hansard - Part 1 & Committee stage
Monday 21st March 2022

(2 years ago)

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Baroness Greengross Portrait Baroness Greengross (CB)
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My Lords, I will speak briefly in support of Amendments 64, 78, 79 and 81. On Second Reading, I expressed concerns that the new voter identification requirements in the Bill might disproportionately impact the youngest and the oldest voters. As others have already highlighted, we need to balance, on the one hand, that we ensure we have a secure electoral system that is not open to abuse of fraud with, on the other hand, removing possible barriers to voter participation. The fact that someone does not have a driver’s licence or a passport or cannot lay their hands on their passport on voting day should not mean that they are unable to participate in the electoral process, which is a very significant part of our democracy.

Amendment 64 gives someone the option, when registering as an elector, to apply for an electoral identity document as part of the same process. This ensures that, at the point of registering, people can get the ID needed to vote. Amendment 78 would enable a voter without satisfactory ID to have their identity confirmed by another voter at the polling station who does have acceptable ID. Amendment 79 expands on the list of documents that can be used as ID, again at least reducing the risk that someone is turned away from a polling station due to them not having satisfactory identification on them. Amendment 81 would include the senior railcard as a form of ID that can be used, as older people tend to have it on them at all times. These amendments help mitigate the risk of eligible voters being turned away for not having identification, but they do not eliminate it completely.

Lack of participation, especially by younger people, is by far a greater problem in this country than voter fraud. Can the Government please outline what safeguards they plan to put in place to ensure that eligible voters who lack identification documents are not disfranchised by what is proposed in the Bill?

Lord Willetts Portrait Lord Willetts (Con)
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My Lords, Amendment 80 in my name has the support of other Members of this House, including—he asked me to indicate this—the noble Lord, Lord Woolley, who sadly is not with us now. This amendment adds to the list of voter identification documents that are accepted for the purpose of being able to vote. It is carefully framed so as to be consistent with the statement in the Conservative Party manifesto, because I understand the importance for us in this House of working within the conventions of the respect we give to manifesto pledges. I will share with the Committee the exact words of that manifesto:

“We will protect the integrity of our democracy by introducing identification to vote at polling stations, stopping postal vote harvesting and measures to prevent any foreign interference in elections.”


My view on that list—and I think it is the view of almost everyone in this Committee—is that there is indeed an issue of postal vote harvesting, and we do indeed need measures to prevent foreign interference. I do not believe that the challenge of voter ID is a significant risk in the British electoral system and I do not think anyone has presented any evidence that it is; nevertheless, it is clearly within the framework set out in the Government’s manifesto and we should respect it.

So my amendment tries to do two things. First, it adds some more photo IDs to the current list of photo IDs—such items as the student identity card, the 18-plus student Oyster photocard and the national railcard. I am trying to add, as far as possible, to the list of photo IDs.

But the amendment goes further than this. It includes other documents that are not photo IDs. Here, I am very influenced by the second document, to which I pay almost as much attention as the Conservative manifesto; namely, the report by my noble friend Lord Pickles. In his important report Securing the Ballot, recommendation 8 says:

“The Government should consider the options for electors to have to produce personal identification before voting at polling stations. There is no need to be over elaborate”—


we hear the authentic voice of my noble friend there—

“measures should enhance public confidence and be proportional. A driving licence, passport or utility bills—

I emphasise “utility bills”—

would not seem unreasonable to establish identity. The Government may wish to pilot different methods. But the present system is unsatisfactory; perfection must not get in the way of a practical solution.”

So, at the stage at which my noble friend produced his report, which has been widely cited throughout the debate on the Bill, he clearly envisaged that it should not be just photo ID.

The Minister, in his response to the earlier debate, took us through the subsequent process, where there was piloting of a range of measures, and said that the pilot with photo ID had strengthened security the most. I accept that point. The question is, to what extent is security the key consideration? Given that voter personation is such a minor problem compared with other genuine issues around security, going for maximum security by requiring photo ID to tackle a problem that is not itself a major issue in our electoral system seems to me to be disproportionate compared with the disadvantages of photo ID. That is why I am trying, within the spirit of the report of my noble friend Lord Pickles and the Government’s own election manifesto, to provide as long a list of documents as possible, so that we will not face that challenge of people who are legitimately entitled to vote finding that, because they do not possess an ID, they are turned away from the polling station.

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Lord Adonis Portrait Lord Adonis (Lab)
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The noble Lord is implicitly saying that he does not regard the Conservative Party manifesto as extending to photo ID. Indeed, there is a very good reason for not regarding it as extending to photo ID, because it does not say “photo ID”. It is all very well for the Minister to say that he intended it to mean that, but, as I know from having piloted controversial legislation through this House, when it comes to invoking the Salisbury convention on matters of first-rate constitutional importance such as this, what the manifesto says is absolutely crucial.

His proportionate principle is that we should start from a long list. Just from quickly scanning Amendment 80, it looks to me as if about half the items on his list do not require photographs; they give the identity of the person but not the photo. That would seem to me to be exactly the kind of position which this Committee should take—and insist on, if need be—to see that the Government’s manifesto commitment is introduced in a proportionate way and not in a way that is likely to have serious deleterious consequences.

Lord Willetts Portrait Lord Willetts (Con)
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Well, it will be up to the Committee to decide. I very much hope the Minister will be able to provide some welcome to my amendment, because it is certainly drafted in a way that is intended to be consistent with both the Conservative manifesto and the important report from my noble friend Lord Pickles.

I shall end by painting a picture of a scenario which several noble Lords opposite have hinted at. It is a scenario that concerns me; I think it is unlikely, but it is possible. It is that we go into the next election and in the course of election day we have, for the first time in British political history, a significant number of voters being turned away from polling stations on the grounds that they do not possess a photo ID. We would then have an election won—and I hope it will be an election won by my party—by a party with a small majority, including quite small majorities in a range of marginal seats. We will find ourselves in an extremely difficult political and constitutional crisis if people are saying, “This is an election where a Government has won by a very small majority after we have seen, for the first time on our TV screens, voters being turned away”. I think that would be catastrophic for trust in our electoral system, and everything that we agree in this Committee must be proportionate, given that there are, in the background, risks such as that. I therefore hope that, within the spirit of the Conservative manifesto, it will be possible for the Government to accept my amendment.

Baroness Chakrabarti Portrait Baroness Chakrabarti (Lab)
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Before the noble Lord sits down, I will ask a question specifically addressed to his amendment. By the way, I wholly commend the thrust of what he is trying to do with the amendment and his incredibly bipartisan remarks about our constitution. I looked through his list on the basis of what I readily have to hand myself. Did he ever consider the simple bank card, as opposed to bank statements, mortgage statements et cetera? I understand that he is trying to make the list as broad as possible. For myself, I find the debit card or whatever the most ubiquitous and quite a sensitive form of identity. I would favour it over, for example, a cheque book. I cannot remember the last time I wrote a cheque.

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Baroness Chakrabarti Portrait Baroness Chakrabarti (Lab)
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I make no comment about that, but people increasingly use debit and credit cards. They carry them around on their person. In fact, some people now use their phones for everything. People are paperless even in relation to their statements and so on. I wonder whether that was something the noble Lord considered, because I am so with him in the thrust of what he is trying to achieve.

Lord Willetts Portrait Lord Willetts (Con)
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I take that point; this is not the perfect list. Indeed, there is a rather different agenda behind it. I shared at Second Reading my concern about lower rates of participation in voting and the difficulty of voter registration, especially for younger voters. It is odd that a Government driving forward a digital reform agenda in so many other areas are not doing so in this one. I believe in modernisation; I think digitisation is coming. It is very odd that we are not taking the Bill as an opportunity to introduce it in the electoral register. I also do not believe in lots of red tape and disproportionate burdens from it. By adding to the list, I am trying to reduce the amount of red tape as a barrier to people legitimately voting in elections.

Baroness Lister of Burtersett Portrait Baroness Lister of Burtersett (Lab)
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My Lords, I will speak briefly to support the amendments to which I added my name: Amendment 80 in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Willetts—he made a very strong case for the amendment, possibly modified to take account of what my noble friend Lady Chakrabarti said—and Amendment 78 in the name of my noble friend Lady Hayman. Again, my motivation in supporting these amendments stems mainly from my concern that the photo ID requirements will disproportionately exclude marginalised groups, including people in poverty and members of the GRT communities, who are also less likely to apply for a voter ID card, to some extent for the same reasons they do not have photo ID in the first place. The additions suggested by the noble Lord are much more likely to be held by these groups. For me, that is the key test: are these forms of identification that members of marginalised groups are more likely to have?

The noble Lord quoted the Pickles report. I will repeat the quote, because he rather rushed over it and it is worth emphasising:

“perfection must not get in the way of a practical solution.”

My fear is that perfection is getting in the way of not just a practical solution but, as I have said, inclusive democracy and citizenship. I am yet to hear a convincing justification for why this should be accepted as a proportionate response to the supposed problem of personation. Again, the noble Lord spoke eloquently about that.

I am also unclear why the Government are so opposed to a vouching system, as proposed in Amendment 78—they made it very clear in the Commons that they are opposed to it—not least given the fact, as my noble friend Lord Collins pointed out, that the Electoral Commission has supported the idea. Once again, it smacks of a worrying lack of trust in the electorate.

Finally, once again, I welcome the commitment to continued consultation with civil society groups to maximise accessibility for those most likely to need to apply for a voter card and/or who will find it most difficult to apply. Once again, will that include groups working with people in poverty and GRT communities? Will it include those who bring the expertise of experience to the table? That expertise will be of particular value in this context: who will know better what will work, or not, about applying for a voter card than the people who will make those applications? I am grateful to the Minister for promising last week to send me a list of those being consulted, but I would welcome an answer to this specific question about whose expertise will be taken into account in rolling out these provisions, because it is quite important.

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Lords Hansard - Part 1 & Report stage
Wednesday 6th April 2022

(2 years ago)

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The Government even accept that photo ID may be acceptable at the polling station even if the photo is not recognisable, so what is the point of requiring photo ID at all? Non-photo ID would be sufficient and proportional to deal with any perceived threat of election fraud. The Government should concede that they have consistently failed, at every stage of this Bill, to show that there is any real evidence of a significant level of fraud at polling stations. They have failed even in trying to assess the scale of any problem with personation, as was powerfully demonstrated by my noble friend Lord Scriven in Committee. Spending £180 million over the next 10 years to address this potential problem is unnecessary and disproportionate.
Lord Willetts Portrait Lord Willetts (Con)
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My Lords, I will briefly speak to Amendment 8 in my name and the names of other noble Lords. The proposal in Amendment 8 would extend the list of accepted documents beyond the narrow group of photo ID that the Government are proposing, but I regard my amendment as consistent with the commitment in the Conservative Party manifesto. I approach this from the perspective of red tape. Is the extra regulation being proposed proportionate to the problem that needs to be tackled? As we have heard from all sides of this House, there is no evidence that personation is a significant problem in the British electoral system.

That is very different from Northern Ireland, where ID and then photo ID were introduced. There, there was in the words of the then chief electoral officer a “planned and well organised” programme of personation. In the absence of any such evidence of personation as a significant problem in the UK, the costs imposed by this measure seem to go way beyond the scale of the problems—costs estimated at £180 million over 10 years. If a broader range of documents is accepted, that removes the need for a new, separate group of voter ID cards and, hence, lowers the costs involved.

I acknowledge the way in which the Minister has engaged with these issues and has recently written to us on these proposals. He may say, “Well, there’s not a problem now, but we still need to do this to boost confidence in the security of the British electoral system”, despite the evidence that our problems are actually in postal voting and proxy voting and not in personation. We know that confidence in the British electoral system currently runs at over 90%. It is not clear that confidence could be much higher than that. Indeed, the attempt to legislate may have the opposite effect to the one that Ministers are seeking and may create anxiety and uncertainty where none existed before. In Northern Ireland, where there is a track record of voter ID, confidence in the system is no higher than in Britain—indeed, on some measures, it is lower.

Besides this, I have one wider concern: what might happen at the next election if a significant number of voters—hundreds of voters per constituency—confronted with a new requirement with which they are unfamiliar in order to vote, photo ID, are turned away from polling stations and do not return? Let us imagine that the outcome of the next election is a modest majority—I hope a majority for the party of which I am a member—where, throughout the day, the media story has been of voters being turned away from polling stations. That seems a significant political and constitutional risk that needs to be taken into account if this measure is introduced. Here we do have a precedent from Northern Ireland: the first use of voter ID in polling stations there was estimated to have reduced voter turnout and turned away the equivalent of approximately 1 million voters across Great Britain, so this is a real risk.

In light of that, while I respect the similar thinking behind Amendments 5 and 6, for example, my intention is to divide the House on Amendment 8, because I regard it as protecting our system from a major political and constitutional risk while remaining consistent with the manifesto on which the Conservative Party fought the last election.

Baroness Lister of Burtersett Portrait Baroness Lister of Burtersett (Lab)
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My Lords, I rise to support Amendment 8, to which I have added my name. I am very pleased to follow the noble Lord, Lord Willetts.

The one real argument put by Ministers to support the restriction of identification to photo ID was that it is the most secure form of ID. However, we never got an explanation of how it was decided that, in the necessary balancing of the two, security trumped accessibility to the point that only the most secure forms of ID were permissible, despite the lack of evidence of fraud, as we have heard. In reaching that position, it was not clear why the Government rejected what we might call the “Pickles principle”—that perfection must not get in the way of a practical solution. Amendment 8 and some of the other amendments offer such a practical solution, but the Government’s response hitherto has been disappointing.

Ministers have also frequently cited the finding of the Electoral Commission tracker that 66% of the public say that the requirement to show identification at polling stations would increase their confidence in security. But I note that the word “photo” is never mentioned, so I can only assume that the question did not specify photo ID. Also, we do not know how members of the public would weigh up that balance between security and accessibility. It would appear from the latest election tracker—a point made by the noble Lord—that a much larger majority, eight in 10, are confident that elections are well run, and that nearly nine in 10 think that voting at polling stations is safe. But there is a real danger, as has been said, that perceptions will be tainted by the Government’s narrative of voting fraud, which risks reducing trust in the system, as has been pointed out by a number of bodies. According to the Electoral Reform Society, recent US studies have found that talking up voter fraud reduces confidence in electoral integrity and has indeed corroded trust in the system.

As I made clear in Committee, I am particularly concerned about the impact on people in poverty or on a low income, who are not necessarily caught in the Government’s focus on groups with protected characteristics. Of course, I am concerned about them too; I particularly noted the position of Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities in Committee. The Government have chosen not to enact the socioeconomic duty in the Equality Act, which might have encouraged them to focus on people in poverty. As it is, the more I have read, the more convinced I am that they have in effect been ignored in consultations with stakeholders and in the pilots.

According to 2019 data from the British Election Study, provided to me by the Library, there was a clear income gradient in turnout in the 2019 election, with half—or slightly more than half—of those in households with an income of £15,599 or less not having voted. If the JRF is correct that, as it stands, Clause 1 and Schedule 1 risk disenfranchising as many as 1.7 million low-income members of the electorate, these worrying figures can only get worse.

Finally, the noble Baroness, Lady Scott of Bybrook, promised that she would get me

“a list of the consultees that we worked with because that is important.”

This was in response to my questions as to

“what engagement there has been with organisations speaking on behalf of people in poverty, or in which people in poverty are themselves involved, so that they can bring the expertise born of experience to these policy discussions”.—[Official Report, 17/3/22; cols. 562, 567.]

I repeated the question when we returned to the issue on day three of Committee, but there was still no sign of that list. Instead, in his letter to Peers, the Minister assured us that there has been a comprehensive programme of engagement with civil society organisations, with a heavy emphasis once again on those with protected characteristics. However, once again, the implication of the letter is that the impact of poverty has been ignored, and that there has been no engagement with organisations working with people in poverty or with those who can bring the expertise of experience of poverty to bear on the matter. Yet, their perspectives could be particularly valuable when considering appropriate voter ID and the process of applying for a voter card. I ask yet again whether there has been such consultation and, if not, will the Government now prioritise it?

As it happens, I was at an event this morning organised by Poverty2Solutions, an award-winning coalition of grassroots organisations led by people with direct experience of poverty and socioeconomic disadvantage and supported by the JRF. The key message was the need to put lived experience at the heart of policy-making, complementing other forms of expertise. I asked whether Poverty2Solutions would be willing to engage with the Government on the development of voter ID policy, and the response was an enthusiastic yes. The door is open.

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Moved by
8: Schedule 1, page 83, line 25, at end insert—
“(1HA) In this rule a “specified document” also means any of the following documents (in whatever form issued to the holder)—(a) a driving licence;(b) a birth certificate;(c) a marriage or civil partnership certificate;(d) an adoption certificate;(e) the record of a decision on bail made in respect of the voter in accordance with section 5(1) of the Bail Act 1976;(f) a bank or building society cheque book;(g) a mortgage statement dated within 3 months of the date of the poll;(h) a bank or building society statement dated within 3 months of the date of the poll;(i) a credit card statement dated within 3 months of the date of the poll;(j) a council tax demand letter or statement dated within 12 months of the date of the poll;(k) a P45 or P60 form dated within 12 months of the date of the poll;(l) a standard acknowledgement letter (SAL) issued by the Home Office for asylum seekers;(m) a trade union membership card;(n) a library card;(o) a pre-payment meter card;(p) a National Insurance card;(q) a workplace ID card;(r) a student ID card;(s) an 18+ student Oyster photocard;(t) a National Rail Railcard;(u) a Young Scot National Entitlement Card.”
Lord Willetts Portrait Lord Willetts (Con)
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My Lords, I think it is important to test the opinion of the House. The Minister spoke very eloquently but this is still an enormous and expensive measure of red tape to solve a problem that no one insists is a serious issue in the British electoral system. I therefore seek the opinion of the House.

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Consideration of Commons amendments
Wednesday 27th April 2022

(1 year, 11 months ago)

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Lord Cormack Portrait Lord Cormack (Con)
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My Lords, I will not say very much about the amendment in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Rennard, because I wish to concentrate on that in the name of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge. All I will say is that I think we need identity cards in this country, full stop.

I feel very troubled tonight. At Second Reading, I made it quite plain that I was strongly opposed to Clauses 14 and 15. I made a similar comment in Committee. On Monday, I was glad to be able to support the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge, the noble Lords, Lord Blunkett and Lord Wallace of Saltaire, and my noble friend Lord Young of Cookham, when, along with nine or 10 Conservative colleagues, I voted for the amendments in the name of the noble and learned Lord to delete those two clauses.

I am troubled because, frankly, although I accept the good intentions of the Minister, my noble friend Lord True—his integrity is not in any doubt whatever—I do not think that tinkering will really meet the points that were made by those of us who wanted to delete the clauses. It is not for me to say that we should insist, because it is very much the noble and learned Lord’s amendment and he has made his decision, which, again, I respect totally. However, faced with a choice between tinkering and tinkering, I personally think that we have missed the opportunity to put this Bill in order by deleting two clauses that are fraught with danger to our constitution and election system.

The best we can hope for now is really scrupulous post-legislative scrutiny to see how this works out—it is essential that that happens—but we are put under a degree of pressure. Although this is the first stage of ping-pong on this Bill, when I came in this morning, all the robes for Prorogation were hanging up. The Government are clearly determined to prorogue Parliament tomorrow and not to use time later this week—which could have been used—or next week for a battle. I therefore find myself very much in the position of the noble Lord, Lord Coaker, at an earlier stage today, when he praised the noble Baroness, Lady Chakrabarti, and the noble Lord, Lord Kerr of Kinlochard, but said, “Really, the time has come”. I believe it is quite clear that the time has come for the end of this Session of Parliament. It is not one that will go down in the history books as a Session of glory or a Session that has enhanced the democratic credentials of government. It will not go down in history as a Session that has seen our country maintain its staunch defence of the rule of law, as it has done in the past, but that is where we are.

Frankly, the most honourable thing I can do tonight is not to vote. I believe that we should have deleted the clauses, but we have not done so. We gave the Commons an opportunity to delete the clauses, but they completely spurned us. They are entitled to do that, but I do not necessarily think that they were wise in taking the line they took. However, that is the line they took, and it is the line they will take if the amendments in the name of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge, are passed tonight.

We should just mark this as a pretty sad episode and, as I say, scrutinise the legislation once it is on the statute book. We will need to come back to these issues. We must make absolutely sure that the Electoral Commission is not trammelled in its work and is able, as similar bodies in other democratic countries are, to ensure that our elections are scrupulously controlled, totally impartial and never subject to the whims of any political party—right, left or centre. This is a sad day for me, but that is the conclusion I have reached.

Lord Willetts Portrait Lord Willetts (Con)
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My Lords, I want briefly to refer to Motions B and B1. In this House, we moved and passed an amendment that would have significantly added to the list of possible identifications that could be used by voters. I continue to believe that that would have reduced the risk of genuinely eligible voters finding themselves unable to vote. Nevertheless, that amendment has been substantially rejected in the other place and, as we have just heard from my noble friend Lord Cormack, we are drawing to the end of this Session.

I take some comfort from the words we have just heard from the Minister; I thank him for his engagement with this issue. He assured the House that it will be perfectly possible through secondary legislation to add to the list of identifications that can be accepted. He also assured the House that the Government will monitor the potential for new forms of ID to be used and improvements to the security of IDs, which appeared in our original amendment but have now been rejected. I hope that the evaluation he has promised will show that it is possible to add to the list of further IDs that can be used; that would be desirable. I very much hope that the Minister and the Government will be as flexible as he has said. In the light of his assurances and the clear rejection from the other place, I do not think that it is now our role to pursue this issue further.

Baroness Lister of Burtersett Portrait Baroness Lister of Burtersett (Lab)
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My Lords, I support Motion A1, but I want to speak briefly to motion B1, which I also support. My primary concern throughout our debates has been the impact on the ability of people experiencing poverty to exercise their right to vote. I am not going to repeat the arguments, but I hope I can get a couple of assurances on the record from the Minister.

First, I thank him, as I understand he has asked officials to include organisations led by people in poverty— such as Poverty2Solutions and, I would add, the APLE Collective—in their ongoing consultations about the implementation of the Bill, so as to get their expertise on the experience of poverty. I would welcome it if the Minister could place that commitment on the record.