BORIS Johnson has been censured by the elections watchdog over plans to “rig” the UK's voting system.

The Prime Minister, who said on Sunday he is “fortunate to live in a democracy”, has been warned Number 10's proposals could allow ministers to shape how electoral laws apply to their own party and their political opponents.

In a strongly-worded letter on Monday, the Electoral Commission doubled down on its calls to axe the plans that could reduce its independence.

Its commissioners wrote to Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove warning that the move in the Elections Bill would allow governments to influence the watchdog’s “operational functions and decision-making”.

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner used the letter to allege that Boris Johnson is “rigging our democracy for himself”.

The legislation, which also includes controversial plans to introduce voter ID, has been backed by MPs and will be debated by the House of Lords this week.

The commissioners warned that the introduction of a “strategy and policy statement” for the watchdog would allow ministers to influence its “oversight and enforcement of the political finance regime” and the guidance to political parties and campaigners.

The National: The Electoral Commission penned a strongly worded letter to Michael GoveThe Electoral Commission penned a strongly worded letter to Michael Gove

The commissioners said: “It would thereby provide a mechanism, driven by the then governing party, enabling that party’s ministers to shape how electoral law is applied to them and their political competitors.

“While the stated position of the current government is that it would not intend to use these powers to impact on the commission’s independent oversight and regulation of the electoral system, no such assurances can be given about how the broad scope of these powers would be used over time.

“Strong accountability is essential for this, but so too is demonstrable independence. The commission’s independent role in the electoral system must be clear for voters and campaigners to see, and preserved in electoral law.”

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The letter – signed by nine of 10 of the commissioners, less Tory-nominated Lord Gilbert due to his role in the Lords – urged ministers to “think again about these measures” and to “remove the provisions” under question.

The proposed changes come after an Electoral Commission investigation resulted in the Conservative Party being fined £17,800 for failing to properly declare a Tory peer’s £67,000 donation to cover lavish refurbishments to the Prime Minister’s Downing Street flat.

Rayner said: “The Elections Bill is anti-democratic in so many ways.

“Attacking institutions, allowing unchecked foreign money into British democracy, and disenfranchising so many people.

“Boris Johnson is rigging our democracy for himself.”

A spokesperson for the Tories' levelling up department said: “We completely disagree with the Electoral Commission’s claims about the Elections Bill - our reforms will not affect their operational independence.

“The Pickles review on electoral fraud was clear that reforms were needed to improve accountability. Making the Electoral Commission more accountable will strengthen the integrity of the electoral process and help prevent fraud.”