Jacob Rees-Mogg admits voter ID law was about ‘gerrymandering’ rather than tackling electoral fraud

'Parties that try and gerrymander end up finding their clever scheme comes back to bite them'


Former Tory minister Jacob Rees-Mogg has admitted in public what many of us already knew, that the requirement for photo ID at elections is more about ‘gerrymandering’ and boosting Tory support rather than tackling electoral fraud as the government tried to claim.

Speaking at the National Conservatism conference in Westminster, Rees-Mogg said: “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.

“We found the people who didn’t have ID were elderly and they by and large voted Conservative, so we made it hard for our own voters and we upset a system that worked perfectly well.”

The voter ID law which came into effect for the first time during local elections earlier this month, had been widely criticised by opposition parties as well as democracy campaigners.

It was estimated that two million people in the UK lack the correct form of photo ID required for the elections. In 2019, the last general elections year, there were only 33 allegations of impersonation at the polling station, out of over 58 million votes cast.

Groups such as the Electoral Reform Society had slammed the government policy as a ‘solution seeking a problem’, with claims of voter ID fraud failing to stack up.

Following the roll-out of voter ID, the Electoral Commission said that some people were turned away from voting due to not having ID, but as of yet, it is unclear exactly how many people were impacted.

An initial report by the commission is set to be released in June, with a full inquiry set to be published in September.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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