UK News :: Illegal immigrants in voting scam - Breaking news from around the UK...
FEARS of widespread vote rigging in today’s elections were raised after an MP discovered one in five migrants with no right to be here was on the electoral register.
Nick de Bois cross-checked the names of constituents seeking his help to stay in the UK and found 21 out of a sample 100 had signed up for voting rights.
The Tory backbencher is calling on ministers to tighten registration rules, claiming it is harder to get a library card than a ballot paper.
Police have already identified a black market for selling voting papers online, while postal ballots are also open to abuse.
Mr de Bois, member for Enfield North in London, said yesterday: “Maintaining the integrity of the voting register is crucial. In local elections particularly, when the difference between winning and losing for a candidate can be a handful of votes, it’s shocking that people who have no right to vote do vote.”
The MP said some people get on the electoral roll just to obtain credit cards or commit financial fraud.
In Enfield, anyone applying for a library card needs to show two forms of identity and address including a utility bill. Yet people registering to vote only have to fill in and return a form posted through their doors.
Mr de Bois wants the Government to “clean up” the register before the next elections. On Monday police began probing alleged voter registration fraud in Tower Hamlets, east London, which has a huge Bangladeshi community.
One-in-seven of the postal votes cast in a recent by-election in the borough was rejected because of irregularities. Last night a Cabinet Office spokesman said: “We are strengthening the electoral system. By December 2015 every individual’s entry on the register will have to be verified with information such as their National Insurance number.”
About 180 councils are holding elections today. The Tories are braced for setbacks after a plunge in their popularity, although Ed Miliband’s leadership of Labour will come under fresh pressure if his party fails to capitalise.
One Tory source said: “It is likely to be a very difficult night for us. Many of the seats that are up for grabs were won during an all-time high for us and will be difficult to hold. But Labour will be under pressure. Anything less than 700 new seats will be a disaster for them.”
Bookies Paddy Power stopped taking bets on Tory Boris Johnson staying as London Mayor after opinion polls put his lead over Ken Livingstone at up to 12 per cent.