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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Sophie Huskisson

Harry Potter star tells people not to get caught out by Tory Voter ID restrictions

Jason Isaacs - who played the villain Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise - has made a plea to people not to get caught out by new Tory rules which requite voters to show photo ID at polling stations.

New rules mean people in England must show ID - including a passport, driving licence or Voter ID certificate - for the first time local elections next Thursday, May 4.

Isaacs posted a video of himself on social media warning that this year's locals are "historic because the government has gone and changed the rules".

He told viewers not to "feel bad" if they didn't know about the change in voting rules as he highlighted research showing that around a quarter of the population are in the same position.

The film star warned that "overwhelmingly it's young people and ethnic minorities that will be caught out by the new rules".

He added: "That seems odd, doesn't it?". It echoed campaigners' suggestions the new rules are an example of Tory voter suppression as those who are more likely to vote Labour are those who will be most affected.

Jason Isaacs, who played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise, said he was voting Labour (Warner Bros)

In the video on Twitter, Isaacs addresses the camera and says: "Hi. Thursday, May the 4th is the date of local elections all the way across England. Local elections impact most of us in many ways more than national elections.

"And these ones are historic because the government has gone and changed the rules. Research shows that about a quarter of the population don't know about that so don't feel bad.

"And overwhelmingly it's young people and ethnic minorities that will be caught out by the new rules and not able to vote. I'm not saying they did on purpose, but that seems odd, doesn't it?

"Anyway, don't let that be you. Get your ID. Learn the rules. Get down there and vote.

"I'll be voting Labour because - does it really need an explanation? Because of what the Conservatives have done to this country and because of Labour's policy on NHS, on feeding school kids, on cancelling non-dom status, on cost of living, on many things.

"But whoever you're going to vote for, please get down to the polling station and vote on Thursday May the 4th."

Jason Isaacs accused the Tories of failing the country (@jasonsfolly/Twitter)
The Harry Potter actor praised Labour's cost of living plans (@jasonsfolly/Twitter)

Just 85,288 people applied online for a free voter ID despite an estimated 2.1 million people being unlikely to have ID to vote at the ballot box.

The deadline to apply for the Voter Authority Certificate closed at 5pm on Tuesday with fears now setting in that millions of people will be at risk of being turned away from polling stations because they do not have a valid form of ID.

Campaigners warn that passports and driving licences - which will be accepted as forms of ID at polling stations - are expensive options with people from low income families unlikely to be able to get one.

With fewer than 100,000 people applying for a Voter Authority Certificate, it means two million people might have no form of ID to take to the ballot box on May 4.

The Tories have been accused of rigging the rules by refusing to accept some forms of identification.

Under the plans, an older person’s bus pass can be used but, confusingly, not a young person’s rail card.

A senior MP has also said Tory Voter ID checks will make it harder for Black and minority ethnic people to vote.

New voting rules have been introduced for local elections next Thursday (PA)

Labour's Clive Lewis, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on race, said Voter ID “undermines the very cornerstone of our democracy” as he expressed “concern” about the underrepresentation of minority ethnic groups in elections worsening.

He said: “The problem has been known for decades and yet little progress has been achieved. Reforms in the Elections Act 2022 are among the most significant changes to the electoral system of the past century.

“By risking voter disenfranchisement and subverting security scrutiny procedures they undermine the very cornerstone of our democracy.”

Ministers were today urged to reveal the true impact of new voter ID measures once next week’s local elections have taken place.

Commons Levelling-up Select Committee chairman Clive Betts warned there may be confusion in counting numbers of people turned away for not bringing photo identification to polling stations next Thursday.

He said some councils will use “greeters” on the door to turn away voters without appropriate ID, while others will turn people away after speaking to a clerk inside polling stations.

The May 4 local elections will be the first time voters in Britain will be required to show identification to take part.

* Follow Mirror Politics on Snapchat , Tiktok , Twitter and Facebook .

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