Tougher Rules on Postal Votes

Tougher rules surrounding postal voting could be introduced after an MP said the system was being abused and depriving some women of their right to have their say.

Shipley MP Philip Davies said action was needed to protect the democratic process and ensure one vote per person.

He said: “We need to have a debate on restricting postal voting. Not only has it helped people vote more than once in elections, but also in certain parts of Bradford has been notably abused for a considerable amount of time, including I might add effectively depriving many women of the vote in those communities.”

In 2005 in Bradford postal votes were rigged in the run up to the election as part of a failed attempt to manipulate the result.

Mr Davies, who faced staunch criticism in the election campaign from opponents claiming his stance on true equality whereby everyone should be treated equally, was detrimental to women, hit back at jeers from the Labour benches.

He added: “It is very interesting how those people who claim to speak up for women’s rights are happy to be silent when it clashes with another politically correct issue. These are serious issues that many people are concerned about, abuse of postal voting in this country.”

It is reported in some communities women are not allowed to go to the polling station and have their say but instead the husband or father cast the ballot via post.

Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom said: “He is exactly right to speak up for democracy in this country, I hear members on the opposite benches poo pooing his comments but in fact it behoves us all to stand up to democracy. Nobody should want the availability of double voting or indeed for one person to vote on behalf of their entire family or on behalf of people who are no longer with us. I absolutely agree with him we should have a debate and take this forward and ensure that democracy in this country continues to prevail.”