Richmond Park News: 5 May 2023
Millions of voters across the country went to the polls yesterday to vote in local elections. I have been very pleased to see my party make huge gains right across the country. On Wednesday, I took part in a Sky News PMQs panel during which I spoke about conversations I have had with lifelong Conservative voters on the doorsteps who are switching their vote to the Liberal Democrats. You can view a clip here.
These local elections were the first to take place after the Conservative Government introduced new rules that require voters to show an accepted form of photo ID at the ballot box. The Electoral Commission has released a post-poll statement in which they say that voter ID “posed a greater challenge for some groups in society and that some people were regrettably unable to vote as a result.”
It is difficult to measure the number of people who were unable to vote due to new requirements. However I have heard a number of concerning reports from those on the ground of voters being turned away from polling stations, or simply not attempting to vote. The Electoral Commission is now collecting data on the impact of voter ID rules on turnout; I hope that the Government will look again at their policy if the data shows evidence of vote suppression.
The Liberal Democrats have continuously opposed voter ID rules, and voted against this legislation in Parliament. Most recently, I sponsored a Bill presented by my Liberal Democrat colleague Helen Morgan to scrap the photo ID requirement ahead of the local elections. We will continue to fight for every voter to be allowed to cast their ballot.
PLANS FOR THE KING’S CORONATION
On Tuesday, The King and Queen Consort addressed Parliamentarians from both Houses in Westminster Hall to celebrate the forthcoming Coronation. As we prepare for this historic event tomorrow, I am looking forward to a wonderful weekend of celebrating our uniquely British traditions and our vibrant communities.
Many constituents will be looking forward to street parties taking place this weekend. Earlier this week, the Evening Standard reported that around one-fifth of the 1,000-plus street parties taking place across London will be held in Richmond – more than in any other London borough. You can read the article here.
You can find more information about the events and activities planned to celebrate the Coronation on the official website here.
CRIME AND POLICING
I know that car theft is a huge problem for my constituents across Richmond Park, as it is throughout London. Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats show that over 30,000 cars were stolen across London last year and 82.7% of crimes went unsolved. I spoke to the BBC about this epidemic of unsolved cases spreading across London, and what we need to do to fix it. You can read the BBC article