Boris Johnson walked away from the polling station after he forgot his ID card

  • Written by Becky Morton
  • Political reporter

Image source, Getty Images

Former Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been turned away from his local polling station after he forgot to bring acceptable photo ID.

As Sky News first reported, he later returned with the necessary identification and was able to vote.

He cast his vote in South Oxfordshire, where voters choose the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Johnson’s government has introduced new rules requiring photo ID to vote in the Election Bill 2022.

The change was implemented last year, with local elections in May 2023, the first time voters would need to show ID.

According to the Electoral Commission, about 14,000 people were unable to cast their votes in the local elections that took place last year in England as a result of the new rules.

The government also said it intends to make veterans’ ID cards a valid form of voter identification after some former service personnel were turned away from polling stations.

Army veteran Adam Diver, 48, said he felt “sad” when he was turned away from a polling station in Fleetwood, Lancashire, after presenting his veterans ID card.

Diver, who served in the Army for 27 years, said he felt as if his service had been “canceled” when his card was declined.

“I thought you could use it as an ID card. It’s like a driver’s license, you can’t get any official license anymore,” he said.

“The legislation regarding acceptable forms of identification was passed before veteran ID cards began being issued in January of this year,” he wrote.

“I will do my best to change it before the next appointment.”

A No10 spokeswoman said: “We intend to add the new Veterans Card, which was introduced in January, to the official list.”

Veterans cards have been issued to people leaving the military since 2018. They were rolled out more widely to all veterans in January this year.

The government is consulting on adding the card to the list of accepted voter ID cards, which already includes armed forces ID cards.

Meanwhile, Conservative MP Tom Hunt said his dyslexia had caused him to lose his passport and he had to arrange an emergency proxy vote.

Hunt, who represents Ipswich, said he did not want to “blame everything on my dyspraxia”, but “it is known that we are unfortunately more prone to losing things”.

He warned people who were “persecuting” him online to be “very careful with your words”.

People can apply to vote by emergency proxy until 5pm on polling day if their ID card is lost, stolen or destroyed.

Asked about reported problems with voter ID, Transportation Secretary Mark Harper said, “There’s bound to be a small number of problems when you have millions of people voting.”

However, he said he believed that “most voters found it quite easy to vote with the necessary ID across the country.”

The Electoral Commission said that “most voters who wanted to vote were able to do so,” despite voter ID requirements.

A Commission spokesperson said: “We will now begin collecting evidence from voters, election managers, partner organizations and activists to understand their election experiences and identify any potential barriers to participation.”

Electoral Commission chief executive Vijay Rangarajan told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that large-scale campaigns to raise awareness of the rules appeared to be working.

In response to a question about the problems faced by some voters, he said: “These appear to be preliminary problems at the moment but we will evaluate that very carefully.”

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