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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 28 May, 2020

Britain cancels its May local elections due to coronavirus outbreak

The Electoral Commission yesterday wrote to ministers warning of ‘real risks’ to holding the elections as planned on 7 May.

Polling station in the UK.
Polling station in the UK.
Image: PA

BRITAIN HAS TODAY announced that it iss delaying May’s local elections – including for London mayor – for a year due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

“We will bring forward legislation to postpone local, mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections until May next year,” a government spokesman said. 

The Electoral Commission yesterday wrote to ministers warning of “real risks” to holding the elections as planned on 7 May.

It warned that the spread of coronavirus would inevitably impact on campaigning, and feared that many people would not feel able or willing to vote.

“Clearly any decisions to delay elections which are due is significant and would not normally be desirable,” it said in a statement. ”However, we are in unprecedented times.”

The decision affects local authority elections across the country, as well as the London race, where Labour mayor Sadiq Khan was seeking a second four-year term.

“I will continue to work with the government and experts to help London manage coronavirus over the weeks and months ahead,” Khan tweeted.

“I will always do everything in my power to stand up for London.”

Police and Crime Commissioners oversee how crime is tackled in a local area.

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