Tory MP pleads for help ahead of local elections after realising he has no valid form of Voter ID

A Tory MP has begged local members in his constituency for help after he was caught short without voter ID ahead of local elections.

Tom Hunt, MP for Ipswich asked local members to act as his “emergency proxy” after he found that he had no appropriate ID to vote in the local council elections.

In a screenshot of a Whatsapp conversation, published by ITV political correspondent Harry Horton, Mr Hunt is seen asking for help from members following a “bit of drama”, adding: “Turns out I have no appropriate ID to vote tomorrow”.

He is then seen asking for help from Tory members: “However. There is an emergency proxy option if you lose your ID. Deadline tomorrow. Who would like to do the honours?”

Mr Hunt is the first MP to publicly fall foul of new controversial Voter ID rules which means people must provide a valid form of ID in order to cast their vote at the ballot box.

The Electoral Commission warned that the new regulations could make it harder for people to vote, while London mayor Sadiq Khan warned the introduction of ID requirements is “designed to rig the next election” by stopping younger and historically marginalised people from voting.

Research has found that groups most likely to be affected by the new voter ID rules are more likely to back Labour.

Now, the screengrab shows the outspoken Tory MP is one of many likely to be affected by the new constrictions and has needed to resort to an emergency proxy to cast his vote. In certain circumstances, where you have an emergency that means you can’t vote in person, you can apply for an emergency proxy. Emergency proxy applications can be made up to 5pm on polling day.

Tom Hunt, Conservative MP for Ipswich, has found himself without valid ID ahead of local elections (PA Media)
Tom Hunt, Conservative MP for Ipswich, has found himself without valid ID ahead of local elections (PA Media)

Elections are taking place in 107 local authorities across the country today, with 2,636 seats up for grabs. Voters will also choose the mayor of London, London assembly members and 10 other mayors outside the capital.

Forecasts say the Tories could lose up to half the 1,000 or so council seats they are defending and rebels opposed to Rishi Sunak’s premiership have warned they would move against him if the results were poor.

But voter campaign groups remain concerned that the new voter ID rules could heavily impact turnout and vote shares a new research by Unlock Democracy shows that barely a tenth of voters who lack photo ID have applied for the Government’s free form of identification ahead of next week’s local election.

Polling closes at 10pm tonight with the results expected to trickle in from the early hours of Friday morning until Sunday afternoon.

Mr Hunt has been approached for comment.