Local elections: Boris Johnson turned away from polls after forgetting his ID

Boris Johnson. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)Boris Johnson. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Boris Johnson. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) | Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
New rules, brought in by Boris Johnson’s own government, means all voters need to show photographic ID before getting a ballot paper

Former prime minister Boris Johnson was turned away from voting after forgetting to bring photographic ID with him.

New rules, brought in by Mr Johnson’s government, mean all voters now need to hand over photographic ID before getting their hands on a ballot paper. Mr Johnson did, however, return to his polling station later in the day and was able to cast his ballot in South Oxfordshire.

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Northern Ireland secretary Chris Heaton-Harris, who served as chief whip in Mr Johnson’s government, said: “As someone who knows Boris well, I can’t say it completely surprises me. I do know that he then simply went home, got some ID, went back to the polling station and voted Conservative.”

The changes brought about by the Elections Act 2022 came into effect last year. The Electoral Commission estimated around 14,000 people were unable to vote in last year’s local elections in England because of the rules.

Voters in last year’s Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election needed to show ID before voting, but the first major election in Scotland under these new rules will be the coming general election.

Before going to the polls, voters will need to show valid ID such as a passport or a driving licence, and those who do not have any ID need to apply for a voter authority certificate in advance. 

A spokesman for the Electoral Commission said: “Most voters who wanted to vote were able to do so. We will now begin to collect evidence from voters, electoral administrators, partner organisations and campaigners to understand their experiences of the elections and identify any potential obstacles to participation.”

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