Nick Clegg dismisses law change after 'hundreds denied vote'

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Nick Clegg today dismissed calls for a change in the law to ensure that people in polling station queues can cast their vote.

Labour's Meg Munn said hundreds of people in the Deputy Prime Minister's constituency of Sheffield Hallam were "denied the right to vote" in the May 6 General Election.

At Commons question time, Ms Munn (Sheffield Heeley) asked: "Why have you not taken the opportunity of legislation currently before Parliament to change the law so that in future, all those in the polling stations at close of poll are allowed to vote?"

The Parliamentary Voting Systems and Constituencies Bill has cleared the Commons and is now going through the House of Lords.

Mr Clegg said: "I'm acutely aware of the problem - I visited the polling stations several times on that day and saw the huge queues of people, many of whom who were in the end denied their democratic right to exercise a vote.

"The question then is - what do we do about it? I just so happen to think in this particular instance, simply passing a law won't deal with the problem.

"The problem was a lack of resources, the problem was poor organisation by the returning officer in Sheffield, who acknowledged as much. That's what we need to address - not always simply reach for the statute book."

Mr Clegg was standing in for David Cameron, who is on a trade visit to China and South Korea.