Equal rights, the rule of law, and freedom of speech define us as a society, and I am determined to promote these values actively.
Election fraud is a crime that strikes at a core principle of our democracy – that everyone’s vote matters. In our current system, there is an undeniable potential for election fraud. Asking voters to bring ID to the polling station is an important way to safeguard against this.
Voter ID is not new. It has also proved to be effective at tackling fraud and has not curtailed election turnout. I am pleased that, under the Government’s proposals, anyone without an ID will be able to apply for a new free one – meaning that no voter will be disenfranchised.
The judicial review is another key part of our democracy, protecting citizens from an overbearing state. The review investigated whether the correct balance is being struck between the rights of citizens to challenge executive decisions and the need for effective government. I look forward to following developments in this area closely.
I appreciate the concerns raised regarding the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, and I want to assure you that freedom of assembly and freedom of expression are rights I wholeheartedly support. The measures in the Bill are not about stopping or clamping down on the right to protest but about ensuring the police are able to better manage highly disruptive protests and maintain the balance between the rights of a protestor and the rights of individuals to go about their daily business.
I will continue to ensure that these rights are upheld in the UK.