An unemployed man called in to LBC and claimed that he would not be able to vote in a general election in the event that Boris Johnson implements his photo ID plan.
The Conservative government announced plans to prevent UK citizens voting without photographic proof of identity at polling stations, prompting accusations it is attempting to “rig the next election.”
A man called Les, from Edinburgh, called in to LBC radio and told presenter James O’Brien that he is unemployed and cannot get the necessary sign-off for his photo ID. This means, he said, that he can’t vote. He said:
The job centre used to sign off photographs and they won’t do that now.
I thought, Les, that I was going to have to be a bit rude to you, when you started down this path, I thought I was going to come out with one of my very unkind lines like 'I’m going to have to wait for your autobiography to find out how this ends.'
But actually you’ve made a really powerful point. Photo ID usually does involve some form of sanction from a –what did you say?
A person of standing in society.
Les went on to say that he had asked his GP to sign his photo ID but they did not offer that service.
I asked my GP and they said they didn't do it.
Here's another thing about it James: when this scheme that the job centre started saying that they will play for provisional licenses, when that hit the media, guess who was up in arms about it? The right wing.
Les continued, claiming they'd said: "Why are the tax payers paying for the unemployed to get driving licenses? In fact, James, it's to help us find work."
Under plans unveiled in the Queen’s Speech, Boris Johnson’s Conservatives will require voters to produce photographic ID at the ballot box for parliamentary elections and English local elections.
A trial of the scheme in local elections this year saw 800 people reportedly turned away from polling stations, leading Labour to urge the policy be “abandoned immediately”.
On Monday, shadow voting minister Cat Smith claimed the announcement was a “blatant attempt by the Tories to rig the result of the next general election”.
Under the scheme, anyone who does not have photographic ID will be able to apply for a free document proving their identity.