Coronavirus UK outbreak: Boris urged to SCRAP May elections by Electoral Commission

The Electoral Commission said today the “risk” of holding a series of votes across Britain would still be high in May.

Bob Posner, Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission, said: “In light of the current and emerging situation around Covid-19 in the UK, I wanted to write to set out the Commission’s concerns about the real risks to the successful delivery of the scheduled 7 May 2020 elections.

“It has already become clear that the risks are so significant as to raise serious concerns about the polls continuing to their current timetable.”

While polling day is not until ay 7, preparations for elections are underway and the start of the formal timetable takes place later this month. 

The commission raised concerns over politicians’ ability to reach the general public, if many forms of campaigning are not possible. It is vital that voters are able to hear the positions of candidates, parties and campaigners before casting their vote, but there may be insufficient space for arguments to be heard, it said.

Local authorities are unsure of whether they will be able to provide polling station venues that are secure, staffed and accessible in light of the challenges the coronavirus poses.

This is a developing story, more to follow…

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