MP calls for video recording in polling stations to combat fraud


John Hemming MP (Birmingham, Yardley, Liberal Democrat)

John Hemming MP (Birmingham, Yardley, Liberal Democrat) has called for the installation of CCTV surveillance devices in polling stations across the UK to combat vote fraud.

“Personation” is assuming the identity of someone with the intention to deceive.

Hemming claimed that the Labour Party engaged in systematic vote fraud in Birmingham. He presented evidence to the police in 2004 but nothing was done to follow up the investigation, he said.

“I happen to think that the proposal for video recording of what goes on in the polling station would be one of the best solutions,” he said in the House of Commons yesterday.

The idea was met with resistance by a number of MPs at the time including Chris Ruane MP (Vale of Clwyd, Labour) who asked how much it would cost and whether the money wouldn’t be better spent on providing disabled access to polling stations.

Hemming claimed it would cost as little as £100 per polling station.

Ruane pointed out that this policy would be at odds with the Liberal Democrat’s position that CCTV is an infringement of privacy and liberty, to which Hemming indicated he did not necessarily share that view as he has supported the introduction of CCTV in parts of his constituency.

Hemming went on to propose secondary legislation be drawn up to allow for a pilot scheme in certain areas to test the concept but after more vigorous debate he withdrew the clause.

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