Following the European Elections I heard from a number of EU citizens based in my constituency who were unable to vote.
The Government only confirmed we would be taking part in these elections on 10 May, giving Lewisham Council’s electoral services just three weeks instead of the usual three months to get UC1 forms to those EU citizens on the register and receive them back.
Council staff did their best under tough circumstances, but the scale of the administrative task and the short timeline made this process extremely difficult.
It is clear that many of the resulting problems could have been avoided if the process for registration was simpler.
The Electoral Commission made a number of recommendations about how this could be done following the 2014 EU elections. These recommendations can only be enacted through changes to electoral law. Successive Conservative-led governments have continued to evade responsibility on this issue and have disenfranchised voter in Lewisham East and across the country.
I wrote to David Lidington as Minister for the Cabinet Office to call for a full investigation and for his department to address the recommendations made by the Electoral Commission.
I am also aware that there were British Citizens living abroad who were also unable to vote in these elections and I will be raising this further by supporting joint work with The 3Million and British in Europe.
UPDATE: I have received the below reply