The Conservatives want to bring in an unnecessary change to election law – and they will be the party to suffer

Chloe Smith talks to John Rentoul about the plans to repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act and to require voter ID

Tuesday 06 July 2021 16:45
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<p>Constitution Minister Chloe Smith: ‘The two bills that I’m introducing are going to stand the test of time’</p>

Constitution Minister Chloe Smith: ‘The two bills that I’m introducing are going to stand the test of time’

Chloe Smith, the constitution minister, is Michael Gove’s minister of state responsible for the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill before the House of Commons today, repealing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. This restores to the prime minister the right to decide when to call a general election.

Later in this session, she will bring in the Elections Bill, which will include the requirement for people to show photo ID before they vote. In her first interview in person since the pandemic, I put it to her that every change she is making to electoral law seems designed for the advantage of the Conservatives.

“No, that is the wrong way to look at it,” she says. “The two bills that I’m introducing this session do important things, and both are going to stand the test of time in a way that I think is quite different from any particular party advantage.”

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