Lib Dem donor on the run forced to surrender false passport
Michael Brown, the conman who gave the Lib Dems £2.4m, has passport seized after business dispute in Dominican Republic. Guardian http://bit.ly/nAFD6a
Tory party donations by insurance firms in marked increase since 2005
According to an investigation by the Guardian, financial firms with insurance interests have given the Tories £5.4m in the last decade, £4.9m of that since David Cameron became leader in December 2005. Guardian http://bit.ly/nJ90AE
Conservative MP piloting legal aid cuts may profit from the changes
The Conservative justice minister piloting controversial plans to cut legal aid and curb payouts that could benefit the insurance industry to the tune of a billion pounds a year will personally profit from the changes, a Guardian investigation can reveal. Guardian http://bit.ly/o95NoE
As many as ten million voters, predominantly poor, young or black, and more liable to vote Labour, could fall off the electoral register under government plans, the Electoral Commission, electoral administrators and psephologists warned. The changes will pave the way for a further review of constituency boundaries that will reduce the number of safe Labour seats before the 2020 election.
MPs on the political and constitutional reform select committee only realised the implications of the plans following three evidence sessions with election experts over the past week to examine the white paper which proposes to introduce individual electoral registration rather than household registration before the 2015 election.
The committee chairman, Labour MP Graham Allen, said they were “genuinely shocked”. Even Tory members such as Eleanor Laing expressed surprise. The policy has been described by Jenny Russell, the chair of the electoral commission, as the biggest change to voting since the introduction of the universal franchise.
Ministers have unexpectedly proposed that it should no longer be compulsory to co-operate with electoral registration officers (EROs) when they try to compile an accurate register, in effect downgrading the civic duty to engage with politics. Russell warned: “It is logical to suggest that those that do not vote in elections will not see the point of registering to vote and it is possible that the register may therefore go from a 90%completeness that we currently have to 60-65%.”