Michael Gove sends Starmer furious letter attacking plot to ‘undermine’ Brexit

Starmer defends proposals to give EU citizens vote

Michael Gove has accused Sir Keir Starmer of trying to “undermine” Brexit in a letter to the Labour leader.

The Cabinet minister wrote to Sir Keir after it emerged he is considering flooding the electoral register with European citizens and children if he takes power at the next general election.

In his letter, seen by the Daily Mail, Mr Gove challenged the Labour leader on if he was trying to “rig” future ballots by handing the vote to settled migrants and 16 and 17-year-olds.

The Levelling Up Secretary also asked if Sir Keir had U-turned on recent comments that adulthood should begin at 18 when it comes to changing gender.

Mr Gove said: “Why do you think it’s right to downgrade the ultimate privilege of British citizenship – the right to vote in a general election?

“What do you say to those who say that your approach is designed to undermine Brexit – and ‘rig’ the voting system for national elections and referendums?

“Is it still your view that the ‘age of adulthood in most cases’ is 18, or is this another area where you have changed your approach?”

Sir Keir yesterday admitted he is looking at expanding the franchise in a move pollsters suggested would benefit his party.

He told LBC: “I’ve obviously knocked on a lot of doors in the last few years.

“And you go door to door sometimes at general elections, and you’re met with someone who says, ‘Look, I’m an EU citizen, I’ve been living here for 30 years, I’m married to a Brit.

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“My kids were raised and brought up here, they’re now working in the UK. I’m even working in lots of community projects, etc. But I can’t vote.’

“And I think that that feels wrong, and something needs to be done about it.”

Sir Keir said it was a “fair point” when it was put to him that Britons living in France, Italy and many other EU countries do not have voting rights.

He added: “It varies from country to country and that’s a fair point.

“But let’s just take someone who’s been here for 30 years, has literally put down their roots here, as I say, married to a Brit, their kids to here. This is their country, this is where they live, this is where they contribute.

“I think it’s very hard to say, well, you should really be voting back in your country of origin when you’ve been living here for 30 years. That just doesn’t pass the common-sense test for me.”

Sir Keir also insisted allowing teenagers over the age of 16 to vote is “not such an outlandish idea”.

Former Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg yesterday told the Express that Labour is “trying to fix” the system as “they don’t think they can win an election fairly”.

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