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Tory MP Sir Henry Bellingham Claims 'Many' Students Voted Twice In The General Election

Sir Henry Bellingham says they boasted about it on social media.

06/07/2017 11:04 | Updated 06 July 2017

A long-standing Tory MP has accused students of voting twice in the General Election, saying many “boasted” about it on social media. 

Speaking during Cabinet Office Questions on Wednesday, Sir Henry Bellingham said there was “clear evidence” of students saying they had voted “once at university and once by post at home”. 

“Surely this is straightforward electoral fraud?” the Norfolk North West MP added. 

The allegation follows similar claims from Nigel Farage in the days after the election. 

Electoral rules state that students are able to register in both their home and university constituencies - but must only vote once. 

Responding to Bellingham’s claims, Cabinet Office minister Chris Skidmore said double-voting was “completely unacceptable”, adding that it is “nothing less than an abuse of our democracy”. 

BBC
Sir Henry Bellingham said students had been 'boasting' about electoral fraud on social media

Skidmore vowed to raise the issue of student voting fraud with the Electoral Commission “as a priority”. 

Labour accused the Conservative Party of trying to suppress voter turnout after a number of other Tory MPs also raised concerns about electoral fraud during the session. 

Labour MP John Spellar said the claims were “straight out of the Donald Trump disinformation playbook”. 

“Aren’t we supposed to have policy driven by evidence? Wasn’t it significant that in his reply the minister gave not one shred of evidence?” he said. 

“Quite frankly at every election there are one or two cases where people are convicted of fraud out of tens of millions of voters.

“This is straight out of the Donald Trump disinformation playbook because, again, they are trying to suppress voter participation... He should be ashamed of himself.”

Some viewers took to social media to air their doubts about student election fraud: 

But others said the claims explained unusually high turnout figures among young people: 

The most recent General Election saw the highest youth turnout for 25 years, with 64% of registered under 25 year olds heading to the polls. 

Of this group, 62% voted for Labour, with age heralded as the “new dividing line in British politics” by pollsters. 

In the days after the election, Farage suggested that Jeremy Corbyn’s unexpected election success was due to voter fraud among university students. 

Speaking to Fox News, the UKIP MEP said: “Corbyn went round to our students saying: ‘Look, I will wipe away all your tuition fees, I will promise you a land where there will be money for this and money for that and it will all be absolutely lovely.’” 

Farage continued: “Young people were very attracted by it. And can I say, many of them were so attracted by it, they actually voted twice.

“They voted once where they live and secondly where they are students, so that needs some looking at.” 

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