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Boris Johnson has paid tribute to the villagers who Sky News revealed turned him away from a polling station when he tried to vote without a valid photo ID – under rules he introduced.

The former prime minister said he attempted to cast his ballot using a magazine sleeve with his name and address on as proof but was prevented from doing so.

The requirement to provide photo ID was introduced by Mr Johnson during his time in Downing Street as part of the Elections Act 2022.

The move was controversial over fears it would bar people from voting, particularly among disadvantaged groups.

Local election live: Khan likely to cling on to London – as West Midlands on knife-edge

Mr Johnson had been seeking to vote in South Oxfordshire, where a police and crime commissioner for Thames Valley was being elected.

Writing in his Daily Mail column, he said: “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.”

Sky’s election coverage plan – how to follow

The weekend: Sophy Ridge will host another special edition of the Politics Hub on Saturday from 7pm until 9pm. And Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips will take a look back over what’s happened from 8.30am until 10am.

How do I watch?: Freeview 233, Sky 501, Virgin 603, BT 313, YouTube and the Sky News website and app. You can also watch Sky News live here, and on YouTube.

The Electoral Dysfunction podcast with Beth Rigby, Jess Phillips and Ruth Davidsonis out now, and Politics at Jack and Sam’s will navigate the big question of where the results leave us ahead of a general election on Sunday.

You can also follow the latest on our politics page

Read more:
The winners and losers
Charts tell story of Conservative collapse

Analysis: Labour’s future success is less clear-cut

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

As well as driving licences, other acceptable forms of ID include passports, proof of age cards, blue badges, and some concessionary travel cards.

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The government has also said it intends to make veterans’ ID cards a valid form of voter identification after former service personnel were turned away.

Veterans’ minister Johnny Mercer apologised to those who had been unable to use the document to vote, vowing to “do all I can” to have it added to the list of valid identification.

Labour said the government has had years to ensure the card was included, having begun rolling out the scheme in 2019.

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UK election on July 4: What would Labour Party win mean for crypto?

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UK election on July 4: What would Labour Party win mean for crypto?

While nothing is assured in politics, the Labour Party has a commanding lead in the polls just six weeks away from the general election.

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How the Peraire-Bueno brothers allegedly drained $25M from their MEV bots exploit

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How the Peraire-Bueno brothers allegedly drained M from their MEV bots exploit

The Peraire-Bueno brothers have been charged with fraud in a first-ever MEV bot exploit case. Here is what the DOJ claims they did to pull it off.

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General election called for 4 July, as Rishi Sunak says ‘now is the moment for Britain to choose its future’

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 General election called for 4 July, as Rishi Sunak says 'now is the moment for Britain to choose its future'

Rishi Sunak has called a general election for 4 July, saying “now is the moment for Britain to choose its future”.

In a statement outside Downing Street delivered in the pouring rain, the prime minister said he had met with the King to request the dissolution of parliament.

Follow the latest politics news live – general election confirmed

“The King has granted this request and we will have a general election on the 4th of July”, Mr Sunak said.

The surprise move is a huge electoral gamble given Labour are ahead by about 20 points in the polls.

It comes after official figures showed inflation had come down to 2.3% in April.

Mr Sunak said this is “proof that the plan and priorities I set out are working”.

More on General Election 2024

However, he said “this hard earned economic stability was only ever meant to be the beginning”.

In a rallying cry to the nation he said: “The question now is how and who do you trust to turn that foundation into a secure future for you, your family and our country?

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Sky’s Beth Rigby explains why inflation and boat crossings may have played a part in the timing of the election

“Now is the moment for Britain to choose its future and to decide whether we want to build on the progress we have made or risk going back to square one. With no plan and no certainty.”

Mr Sunak had to contend with New Labour anthem Things Can Only Get Better being played from beyond the gates to Downing Street as he delivered his speech.

In a sign the election will be fought on the economy, the prime minister opened his remarks by harking back to his days as chancellor during the pandemic, saying he served the country while “the future hung in the balance”.

He said that economic stability is “the bedrock of any future success” and accused Labour of having no plan.

Summer election big gamble for Sunak

By Darren McCaffrey, political correspondent

The prime minister, late, increasingly soaked and being drowned out by protesters, confirmed there will be a July election.

Rishi Sunak’s pitch to voters is essentially better the devil you know, stick with me, I have a plan and Labour has no ideas.

“Now is the moment for Britain to choose its future, to decide whether we want to build on the progress we have made or risk going back to square one with no plan and no certainty” he said.

He is hoping that a relatively long campaign, a focus on security, in what he describes as an uncertain world and his economic record will eat into the enormous poll lead Labour have.

It is interesting there was much less focus on migration and small boats.

Sunak admitted mistakes had been made, accepted they had been in power for 14 years but played on lots of voter’s apathy about what Labour’s plans are for government.

This is undoubtedly a massive gamble for the prime minister, no party has ever come back from such a difficult polling situation, but he hopes under scrutiny Labour and Starmer will crumble.

At the moment, most in Westminster think it’s a gamble that will not pay off.

Let the proper campaign begin.

He finished his statement with an attack on his rival for Number 10, Sir Keir Starmer, saying he has “shown time and time again that he will take the easy way out and do anything to get power”.

“If he was happy to abandon all the promises he made to become Labour leader once he got the job, how can you know that he won’t do exactly the same thing if he were to become prime minister?

“If you don’t have the conviction to stick to anything you say, if you don’t have the courage to tell people what you want to do, and if you don’t have a plan, how can you possibly be trusted to lead our country, especially at this most uncertain of times?”

Read More:
The current state of the parties in the polls
Find out the new constituency you’re in and how it’s changed

Election ‘opportunity for change’

Keir Starmer
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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer

Delivering his own televised statement from central London, Sir Keir said the election is an “opportunity for change” as he tore into the Tories’ record in government.

He pointed to sewage in rivers, people “waiting on trolleys in A&E”, crime going “virtually unpunished” and mortgages and food prices “through the roof”.

“On 4 July you have a choice, and together we can stop the chaos, we can turn the page, we can start to rebuild Britain and change our country,” he said.

If Sir Keir wins the election, it will end 14 years of Conservative governments under five prime ministers.

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey, who is also hoping to make gains the the rural Tory heartlands, said the election is “a chance to kick Rishi Sunak’s appalling Conservative government out of office and deliver the change the public is crying out for”.

What are the rules for calling an election?

Mr Sunak has been saying for months the vote would happen in the “second half of the year” but had refused to set a date.

The assumption was that he would wait until the autumn to give him more time to deliver on his pledges.

However, speculation he could go to the country earlier mounted in Westminster on Wednesday as Cabinet ministers were summoned for an unusually timed meeting, with Defence Secretary Grant Shapps and Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron cutting short trips abroad to attend.

As general elections have to be held every five years, the final day a vote could have taken place was 28 January 2025.

However, the Conservatives in 2019 restored the prime minister’s power to call an election at a time of their choosing within that five years.

The last general election was held in 2019, when Boris Johnson won the Conservatives a landslide over Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

Since then, there have been two more prime ministers, Liz Truss and Mr Sunak, and the Conservatives’ 80-seat majority has been reduced by a series of by-election losses while their popularity among voters has plummeted.

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