Heather Harper MBE, Chairman of Conservatives Abroad led a group of the Conservatives Abroad team to visit Downing Street last week to mark the achievement of Votes for Life, with the Prime Minister. The passing of the Elections Act 2022 will allow an estimated additional 2.3m British citizens around the world to participate in future General Elections.
Heather Harper MBE and Conservatives Abroad have worked with a succession of MPs and Ministers for the Constitution for over a decade to get this reform enacted after successfully making it a Conservative Party commitment in three successive manifestos.
While the Labour Party in Parliament has always opposed Votes for Life and the Liberal Democrats blocked its progress during the Coalition, there has been limited cross-party support on this issue, most notably provided by Labour's Harry Shindler OBE. Harry, a decorated veteran of World War II, became an inveterate campaigner for the abolition of the 15-year rule. Harry has pursued cases before our High Court and the European Court of Human Rights, We salute him as he prepares to celebrate his 101st birthday.
The Prime Minister told Heather Harper MBE that ‘the UK is the OECD country with the highest proportion of residents and voters abroad and you have enfranchised them, thank you very much.'