North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham claims ‘many’ students voted twice in the general election
- Credit: PA
A Norfolk MP has claimed students boasted on social media of committing electoral fraud during the general election.
North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham raised concerns in Cabinet Office Questions stating students had illegally voted twice in the June election.
The long-serving Tory MP said there was 'clear evidence' of students who voted by post at their home address and voted at the polls at their university address.
Addressing cabinet office minister Chris Skidmore, he said: ''Are you aware that there is now clear evidence that many students boasted on social media about voting twice - once at university and once by post at home?
'Surely this is straightforward electoral fraud?'
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Mr Skidmore said the offence of double-voting is 'nothing less than abuse of our democracy' and pledged to raise the concern 'as a priority' to the chair of the Electoral Commission, Sir John Holmes.
'Let us all be clear in this house, this is a crime.' He added.
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According to the Electoral Commission, if you are registered in two local authority areas then you can vote in both for the local elections for the two different councils.
But it states it is an offence to vote twice in the general election and perpetrators could be fined up to £5,000.
In their manifesto, the Conservative Party pledged to introduce voter ID in 2018.
This will stop anyone from voting in elections if they do not hold photo ID, a policy already implemented in Northern Ireland.
But the plans were criticised by the Electoral Reform Society, stating it could prevent millions of people without a passport or driving licence from voting.
Labour MP for Warley, John Spellar, accused the Conservative Party of suppressing voter participation by inflating claims of electoral fraud.
He said: 'The minister gave not one shred of evidence because, quite frankly, every election there are one or two cases where people are convicted of fraud out of tens of millions of voters.'
He said the claims were 'straight out of a Donald Trump misinformation playbook' and for any evidence of electoral fraud to be handed to the police.
People took to Twitter to voice their thoughts, with some calling for an investigation into the claims.