JACOB Rees-Mogg has been slammed for admitting that voter ID was an attempt at “gerrymandering” by the Tories, which ultimately backfired.

The former Cabinet minister said the policy, which saw voters across England required to present a photo ID when casting their ballots at May’s local elections, had made it harder for elderly Conservatives to vote.

Speaking at the National Conservatism conference in Westminster on Monday, Rees-Mogg said: “Parties that try and gerrymander end up finding their clever scheme comes back to bite them, as dare I say we found by insisting on voter ID for elections.

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“We found the people who didn’t have ID were elderly and they by and large voted Conservative, so we made it hard for our own voters and we upset a system that worked perfectly well.”

Responding to the comments, the SNP said Rees-Mogg’s admission showed voter ID was an attempt by the Tories to “cling to power”.

Rees-Mogg’s comments, made in reference to reports that the Labour Party is considering plans to allow EU citizens to vote in general elections should they form the next government, appeared to claim that the voter ID policy was intended to give the Tories an electoral advantage.

This has been a consistent criticism of the policy from the SNP and Labour Party, as well as trade unions and civil rights groups.

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The UK Government has consistently denied that voter ID was an attempt at “gerrymandering”, but rather is intended to prevent voter fraud and ensure confidence in the UK’s elections.

Following the elections on May 4, the Electoral Commission (EC) acknowledged that some people had been unable to vote due to a lack of ID, but it remains unclear how many were turned away and whether they were predominantly older or younger voters.

The EC has said it will publish an initial analysis on the impact of voter ID in June ahead of a full report in September.

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It is understood that an estimated 2 million people in the UK lack the necessary identification documentation to be permitted to vote in the next General Election.

“Tory MP Rees-Mogg has admitted what we knew all along - that this scheme only exists as a ploy to gerrymander the next election in a desperate bid to cling to power,” Kirsty Blackman MP, the SNP’s cabinet office spokesperson (pictured below), said.

“It’s no surprise that we have evidence that this draconian legislation has pushed people away from voting.

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“Brazenly undermining democracy and shutting people out of the electoral process was exactly what the Tories designed these laws to do.

“The SNP will continue to oppose these Tory voter-ID laws for all elections, but with the Tories so intent on bending the rules, and Labour refusing to tear down bad Tory laws, it’s clear that only with the full powers of independence can we get rid of Tory governments and Westminster attacks on our democracy – for good.”

Downing Street, asked about Rees-Mogg’s remarks, said the voter ID policy had not been about looking to give the ruling party an advantage but instead was targeted at reducing attempts of fraud at polling stations.

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The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We’ve talked at length about the rationale for the introduction of voter ID and the importance of guarding against the possibility of election fraud.”

He highlighted the requirement for the electorate in Northern Ireland to have to show photo ID since 2003 and said similar schemes were in place in “many other European countries”.

Asked whether that was him saying “no” to the question of gerrymandering being a factor in its introduction, the spokesman said: “(That is) also a shorter way of saying so.”