Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, slammed the Government for not apologising to EEA citizens who were denied the right to vote in the recent European Elections, in a statement this afternoon in Parliament.
Mr Zeichner said: “It really does seem that sorry seems to be the hardest word, doesn’t it. My constituents have faced all the problems outlined by colleagues on these benches, including situations where the required forms had been properly filled in, and they were still denied the vote. They were also denied the vote in their other home country, and thus doubly disenfranchised. So at the end of these exchanges, could the Minister perhaps show some grace on behalf of the Government, and not apologise to these benches but at least apologise to those people who have been disenfranchised.“
The Minister for the Cabinet Office responded: “As I touched on earlier when referencing the Electoral Commission’s review, we will expect them to look at where there may have been issues with local councils where the forms were returned in compliance with the law and then not complied with. That is not a matter that Government would deal with directly. This is an election that saw turn out rise compared to previous similar elections, and again this was an election that we hope will not take place again following the UK’s exit from the EU.“
Mr Zeichner comments:
“It is outrageous that the Government refuse to take responsibility for the disenfranchisement of EEA citizens who are entitled to vote in these elections. Between this, and the issues that many have experienced when applying for Settled Status, the Conservative government have not succeeded in sending the correct message – which should be that we want EU citizens living in the UK to stay here. The Government must prioritise making amends for this mess, and apologise to all those affected.“