Ruth Davidson savages Tories’ ‘total b*****ks’ plan to force voters to show photo ID

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The former leader of the Scottish Tories has savaged Boris Johnson’s “total b*****ks” plan to force voters to show photo ID.

Ruth Davidson joined Tory civil liberties campaigner David Davis in slamming the crackdown, which it’s feared could disenfranchise millions of voters in order to fight a couple of dozen fraud allegations a year.

The former Scottish Tory leader told ITV’s Peston: “Well I think they can’t cite any evidence of it because I don’t think there’s ever any evidence to cite.

“I think in terms of this particular part of the Queen’s Speech, I think it’s total b*****ks, and I think it’s trying to give a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, and that makes it politics as performance.

“And I think that given where we are and the year we’ve had, we’ve got real problems to solve in this country, and the idea that this is some sort of legislative priority I think is for the birds.”

The former Scottish Tory leader did not hold back
(Image: Getty Images)

In the Queen’s Speech, Boris Johnson confirmed his plan to deny people the right to vote unless they can show photo ID.

The Government claims this is to “combat the inexcusable potential for voter fraud”.

There is no evidence that in-person voter fraud takes place in the UK beyond a tiny handful of allegations each year.

A Government-commissioned survey, published this week found as many as 2% of voters – which could amount to at least 941,496 people – don’t have photo ID of any kind.

Of those, a “substantial proportion” – 42% – said they would be unlikely or very unlikely to apply for a local authority voter ID card if one was made available.

Campaigners fear huge numbers could be disenfranchised
Campaigners fear huge numbers could be disenfranchised
(Image: Matt Gilley/PlymouthLive)

People with disabilities, the unemployed, people with fewer qualifications and first-time voters were all found to be less likely to hold photo ID.

“We think showing identification to vote is a reasonable approach to combat the inexcusable potential for voter fraud,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.

Details of acceptable forms of ID have not yet been set out but a free council-issued “local voter card” will be available.

Asked what evidence there was of a problem actually existing, the spokesman said “there is a potential for fraud which is not acceptable”.

Dr Jess Garland, Director of Policy and Research at the Electoral Reform Society, said: “This policy is misguided and wrong, and risks pulling up the drawbridge to people across the country.

“At a cost of up to £20m per election, this is a colossal waste of energy and resources at a time when we should be focusing on the UK’s recovery.

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Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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