Labour MPs have angrily rejected a High Court finding that their party had engaged in city-wide postal fraud.
They accused Richard Mawrey QC, the judge who found "overwhelming" evidence of widespread voterigging during last year's local elections in Birmingham, of going beyond his remit.
They were speaking in a House of Commons debate as Local Government Minister Nick Raynsford made a statement.
Steve McCabe (Lab Birmingham Hall Green) asked the Minister: "Does he agree with me that it would indeed be a sad day for democracy if one of the effects of misleading statements surrounding this case were to frighten elderly, sick and disabled people out of their legal right to have a postal ballot in the forthcoming election?
"And shouldn't we bear that in mind when we talk about two out of 40 wards in Birmingham?"
Richard Burden ( Lab Northfield) said he supported Mr McCabe's comments, and praised the Labour leadership for sending a member of its own National Executive Committee to the city to ensure no vote-rigging took place.
SiUn Simon (Lab Erdington) criticised the judgment. He said: "In saying it was citywide, it went beyond its remit and beyond the evidence."
However there was a more cautious response from Labour MP David Winnick (Dudley North), who said: " This deplorable case does raise genuine concerns."
Tory MPs called for the Government to take tougher action against election fraud.
Peter Luff ( Con Mid Worcestershire) said what what happened in Birmingham "tarnished the whole British democratic process".
He urged Mr Raynsford to heed "the wise words of The Birmingham Post editorial" published on Tuesday calling for reform of the system.
But Mr Raynsford did not respond directly, instead accusing Mr Luff of "hypocrisy" because some Conservative leaflets have urged supporters to apply for postal votes.