Lord Rennard asks the questions in the House of Lords regarding the passport strike action and its effect on the upcoming elections in May.
- What assessment has the government made of the effect of the strike action in April on passport applications?
- What steps will the Government take to ensure that those with delayed applications will not be prevented from voting in elections on 4 May?
The current 10-week delay in passport applications is frustrating for travellers. The five-week strike will cause further problems. It will also reduce the number of people who have one of the specified forms of photo ID to let them vote if they have elections on 4 May. The uptake of local authority voter ID cards has been pathetic. During debates on the then Elections Bill, Ministers referred frequently to the Post Office’s ID requirements for collecting a parcel. Will the Government now consider allowing the forms of ID that are accepted by the Post Office, including bank cards or utility bills, to be used for voting, or are they really trying to suppress the vote?