Not allowing young voters to use the same photo identification as older people hints at potential “selfish interests” behind a change in policy at polling stations, according to Sir Ed Davey.
The leader of the Liberal Democrats said his party is opposed to new compulsory rules for those voting in person during England’s local elections next month.
Those turning up at polling stations will be required to show a form of photo identification, such as a passport, driving licence or blue badge.
Bus and travel passes for older and disabled people are being accepted as photo IDs but Sir Ed said it was “very suspicious” that young people’s travel cards were not being permitted.
His comments seem to allude to long established polling suggesting that older voters are more likely to vote Tory than younger members of the electorate.
The former cabinet minister said ministers had “failed to make the case” for the change in policy, which he branded “wrong”.
He told Sky News: “They claim it was about voter fraud. There is no evidence about this at all and it will make it harder for some people to vote.
“When you look at the sort of things they have done in implementing this, they’ve made it OK for retired people to use their bus passes – that’s great, I think that’s right.
“But they have not allowed young people to use their bus passes as photo ID.
“That is very suspicious and I think it suggests the Government’s motives behind this change are nothing to do with voter fraud; they are everything to do with the selfish interests of the Conservative Party.”
Watch the clip in full below:
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