I was surprised to read about the continuing opposition towards the introduction of Voter ID from Mr Coughlan’s court action and Ms Hawkes’ letter of May 7.

The very reason for introducing voter ID at polling stations is to protect the integrity of democracy. This was outlined in the Conservatives’ 2019 General Election manifesto, along with a commitment to stop postal vote fraud and prevent any foreign interference in elections.

Just 0.3 per cent of people in the Braintree district checked for ID in last year’s local elections did not return with ID and studies show the more consistent this practice is, the smaller this figure becomes. It was also the case that those without any ID from an extensive list could easily obtain a form of ID from the council.

Showing ID is a common practice in many areas of modern life, including some very mundane tasks, so why would we not do the same for something as important as protecting our democracy?

Indeed, as a previous Labour councillor, Mr Coughlan would no doubt have voted in the recent Labour leadership election, a poll which some members were required to show ID for.

Ross Playle

Deputy Chairman, Witham Conservatives