A person voting

Election policy to undergo Levelling Up Committee scrutiny

The government has announced that the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee is to scrutinise the Draft Electoral Commission Strategy, that was published yesterday.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities opened the consultation to help improve the accountability of the Electoral Commission, with new guidance addressing concerns that were raised by Lord Eric Pickles in his independent review in electoral fraud.

A short inquiry into the draft statement will be held to publish any recommendations for the government, thanks to the Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities Committee’s position as a statutory consultee.

Speaking about the strategy, Levelling Up Secretary Greg Clark, said:

“The public rightly expects efficient and independent regulation of the electoral system. The Pickles Report was clear that the Electoral Commission needed to change.

“This is why we are improving the accountability of the Electoral Commission by giving Parliament greater visibility and scrutiny of the Commission’s work.

“This guidance is a necessary step to increase the accountability of this Electoral Commission to UK Parliament whilst respecting its operational independence.

“It is completely unacceptable for anyone’s vote to be influenced or pressured inside a polling station. Protecting the secrecy of the ballot is of the utmost importance to the health of our democracy.”

The consultation will close on 5th December 2022 and will provide he statutory consultees such as the Levelling up Committee the chance to share their views on the guidance. The other consultees are the Electoral Commission itself and the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Committee.

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