Last month saw the 183rd anniversary of the Newport Rising, where thousands of Chartists, provisioned from a cave near Trefil, walked from Blaenau Gwent to demand democracy and the right to vote.

I can’t help but wonder what the Chartists would make of the Conservative government’s plans to make everyone produce photo ID before being allowed to vote? I suspect they would not be keen, and nor am I.

The Conservatives’ plan amounts to a fundamental undermining of democracy and our electoral freedoms. Something that flies in the face of what the Chartists fought for.

The plans have been rushed in and will be in place for next May’s local elections in England where, in recent weeks, there have been rising concerns about the lack of preparation time for local councils.

It has been reported that many are expecting large numbers of people to be affected, or even prevented from voting, which could sway some results - potentially leading to challenges in court.

This could be disastrous, and we are only two years away, at latest, from the next general election where photo ID will be mandatory for anyone wishing to vote.

Sowing seeds of doubt about our robust and secure electoral process, making it more difficult to vote and discouraging people from taking part is a disaster for democracy. The exact opposite of what we should be doing.

Never in history has a British election been affected by mass fraud, so why is the government wasting millions on a solution without a problem?

It could seem like this is less about stopping lots of people from voting twice, than discouraging some people from voting once - an attempt at voter suppression straight out of the Republican Party playbook? We know that those most likely to be affected, by not having existing driving licences or passports, are the elderly and people with a lower income.

I am very proud that British democracy was born in our valleys, and I value it dearly. This messy and expensive plan cannot get in the way of it.

This Tory government must take ownership - simply palming responsibility onto local authorities is not good enough – and, if necessary, delay these plans until there has been adequate time to prepare and adjust.

Not a single person should be prevented from voting as a result of not getting this right.