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Good morning. The Queen’s speech earlier this week included a commitment to legislate to require people to provide photo ID when they vote, despite claims that this is unnecessary and that more than 2 million people might as a result find it harder go vote because they don’t now have the right documentation. So far Conservative opposition to the plan has been muted. But last night, on ITV’s Peston, Ruth Davidson, the former Conservative party leader in Scotland, condemned the idea in the strongest possible terms. She said:
They can’t cite any evidence of [electoral fraud being a problem] 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 bollocks, 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.
Although Davidson is too liberal and pro-remain to be an influential figure in Boris Johnson’s Conservative party, in the David Cameron era she was regularly tipped as a future party leader, she was a successful leader of the Scottish Conservatives for more than eight years and until the Holyrood elections she was leader of the party in the Scottish parliament. She will also soon take a seat in the House of Lords, where of course peers will get to scrutinise the electoral integrity bill before it can become law. Boris Johnson may not find it quite as easy to pass as he might have thought.
Here is the agenda for the day.
9.30am: The ONS publishes a report on Covid death rates in England by religion.
9.30am: NHS England publishes its latest waiting time figures.
10am: Lord Geidt, the new independent advisers on ministers’ interests, gives evidence to the Commons public administration and constitutional affairs committee.
2.30pm: David Cameron, the former prime minister, gives evidence to the Commons Treasury committee about Greensill Capital.
2.30pm: Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, gives evidence to the Commons culture committee.
5pm: Cameron gives evidence to the Commons public accounts committee about Greensill Capital.
Politics Live has been a mix of Covid and non-Covid news recently, but today it will probably be non-Covid, with particular focus on the Geidt and Cameron select committee hearings. For more Covid coverage, do read our global live blog.
I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.
If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.
Source: The Guardian
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