The Government ruling that Bradford voters should have an all-postal ballot imposed on them for the Council and European Parliament elections in June is a very bad idea indeed. All the political parties on Bradford Council agree about that. So does the Electoral Reform Society, which is to challenge the proposal in the House of Lords.

The motive behind the decision to steer the country towards postal voting via a large-scale pilot scheme in four regions might well seem worthy enough at first glance. Too many people fail to make the relatively short journey to the polling booths, weakening democracy (goes the argument). So make exercising their democratic duty easier for them by giving them an even shorter journey, to the nearest post box.

It is a flawed case which fails to take into account the cheats who will seek to make political capital out of this system. There simply aren't enough safeguards in place to remove the opportunities for intimidation and corruption. It is far too easy for ballot papers to be "harvested" to enable votes to be fraudulently assigned to one candidate or another.

There have already been allegations of this sort of thing happening in earlier elections in Bradford, which is why councillors voted last year to reject an all-postal vote.

Shipley MP Christopher Leslie appears to have disregarded that vote and ignored local opinion in deciding, in his role as Elections Minister, that Yorkshire and Humber, which includes Bradford, should be one of the areas in the pilot scheme. Shame on him. He should know better.