A member of the European Parliament has stood by her criticism of voter ID trials claiming it is a solution “focusing on a non-existent problem”.

Labour MEP for East of England Alex Mayer slammed voter identification trials across England earlier this year saying forcing voters to take proof of ID to polling stations was “more likely” to exclude marginalised groups.

Ms Mayer restated her concerns after another round of voter ID trials was announced by the Government for next year - Watford has again been selected by the Cabinet Office to take part in voter identification trials during local elections in May 2019.

Watford will test using poll cards as a means of identification.

Ms Mayer said in 2017 there were 28 allegations of impersonation from almost 45 million votes cast - of these, one case resulted in a conviction.

She also said at least 42 people were “disenfranchised” due to the new system, adding: “If this trend was repeated across the country it would mean approximately 25,000 people losing their vote to combat 28 cases, a classic case of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.”

She went on to say: “Requiring people to show identification before they cast their vote is a solution in search of a problem. There isn't mass voter impersonation going on in Watford, nor the rest of the country.

“This smacks of a Tory Government plan to put people off voting. Rather than focusing on a non-existent problem, the Government should be cracking down on the things that really undermine our democracy.”

Chloe Smith MP, minister for the constitution, said: “I am pleased so many local authorities came forward to participate in the 2019 pilots so we can gain a deeper understanding of how voter identification will work on a wider scale - and what works best for voters.

“We want people to have confidence that our elections are safeguarded against any threat or perception of electoral fraud.”

Ms Mayer told the Watford Observer she wants the Government to scrap voter identification as a “matter of urgency”.