The Independent Electoral Commission criticized the plans, likening the proposals to a cricket team “telling the umpire how to enforce the rules of the game”.

Rishi Sunak is widely believed to be setting a date for the autumn general election(PA)

The desperate Conservative Party has been accused of trying to rig the next election.

This comes at a time when experts and campaigners have issued dire warnings that democratic safeguards have been “damaged” under Rishi Sunak’s party.

The Electoral Commission, which oversees voting rights in the UK, said a government move to set “priorities” for the body amounted to “a team explaining to the referee how the rules of the game should be enforced”.

The commission made the extraordinary intervention ahead of a vote on Wednesday in which Tory MPs want to push through a new “statement of strategy and policy” for the commission – which a senior House of Commons committee said was “incompatible with its independence”.

Experts warned that the move was just part of an “alarming trend” that is diluting and undermining trust in British democracy.

New rules increase the amount parties can spend to £35 million, allow rich expats to vote and ban anyone from voting without photo ID. They will be tested for the first time this year in a general election that recent polls suggest could spell a crushing defeat for the Tories.

Labor MP Clive Betts accused the Conservatives of “political interference” in the Electoral Commission, “which must be and be seen as independent”. He continued: “To the public it looks like the Conservative Party is trying to manipulate the rules.”

The Prime Minister is pictured leaving 10 Downing Street this week(Getty Images)

Infosys, a computer company partly owned by Rishi Sunak's wife Akshata Murty, is in line for millions of pounds in government money(Jonathan Buckmaster)

Liberal Democrat leader Wendy Chamberlain added: “This Conservative government is trying to manipulate the rules in its favor because it knows it has lost the public's support.” An independent body must be allowed to do so independently and without interference a political party, especially a party that is desperately trying to stay in power.”

Tom Brake from campaign group Unlock Democracy criticized the development(PA)

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