Plaid Cymru's MP for Ceredigion, Ben Lake, warned that the Elections Bill that will be debated in the House of Commons this afternoon will be a “step back for democracy”.

The Bill is intended to make changes to the administration of General Elections and Police and Crime Commissioner elections in Wales.

The bill includes the introduction of mandatory photo ID at polling stations.

A study by the UK Cabinet Office released in May suggests that over two million voters would lack the necessary ID to take part in elections following the change in the law.

Mr Lake has warned that the change will "disenfranchise younger and black and minority ethnic voters" who are less likely to have such documents.

He also raised concerns about the divergence between UK and Welsh devolved elections, given that voting rights for Welsh elections have been extended to all those over 16 years old, including foreign nationals resident in Wales.

READ MORE: Concerns bill will lock out marginalised groups

Mr Lake said: "The Government’s own figures show that two million people could lose the ability to vote as a result of their plans to bring in voter ID, which will most likely disenfranchise younger and black and minority ethnic voters.

“The divergence between UK and Welsh devolved elections is also worrying.

"As Welsh elections become more inclusive and democratic - with all those with residency rights over the age of 16 having the vote - Westminster is going the other way. This is a step back for democracy.

“I will be urging the Government to withdraw this Bill and reintroduce a law that will strengthen our democracy, not weaken it.”

The UK government says it wants to tighten rules around voting to protect election security and transparency.

The debate on the Second Reading of the Elections Bill will take place this afternoon in a busy day in the House of Commons.

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