Boris Johnson ‘pays tribute’ to polling staff who refused to let him vote without ID

Boris Johnson has thanked three villagers who turned him away from a polling station on Thursday for trying to vote without a valid ID.

The former prime minister was told by polling station staff that he would not be allowed to vote in the police and crime commissioner election for South Oxfordshire without proving his identity.

Writing in his column in the Daily Mail, the former prime minister said he attempted to use a copy of Prospect magazine as a form of identification, but was turned away by local electorate officials.

He wrote: “I want to pay a particular tribute to the three villagers who on Thursday rightly turned me away when I appeared in the polling station with nothing to prove my identity except the sleeve of my copy of Prospect magazine, on which my name and address had been printed.

“I showed it to them and they looked very dubious … within minutes I was back with my driving licence and voted Tory.”

The requirement to bring photo ID was a stipulation of the Elections Act Johnson introduced in 2022 while in Downing Street.

The election on Thursday was the first time many voters in England and Wales had to present ID to vote under the provisions rolled out at last year’s local elections.

Acceptable forms of ID include a passport, driving licence, Proof of Age Standards Scheme (Pass) cards, Blue Badges, and some concessionary travel cards.

Downing Street has said it will “look into” changing the rules to allow veterans’ ID cards on to the list of valid identification.

It came after the veterans minister, Johnny Mercer, apologised to former military personnel who were prevented from using their veterans ID to vote in the local elections in England.

Ministers have faced criticism over the limited number of acceptable forms of ID, particularly the decision to allow documents such as the older person’s bus pass but almost none issued to younger ones, such as other travel passes and student documents.

The Guardian