Labour calls for suspension of May elections due to coronavirus

Labour is calling on the Government to suspend the local elections scheduled for 7 May because of the spread of the coronavirus.

The Party’s General Secretary Jennie Formby has today written to the Electoral Commission to support its call for a postponement, saying that Labour “always want democratic processes to continue as much as is practical and safe”, but in light of public health concerns the primary focus for council staff as we head towards the peak of the outbreak should be on providing essential public services.

The letter adds:

“We share your concerns about the ability of local authorities to deliver the elections in advance and on the day, at the same time as continuing to manage vital services that will have increased pressure on them due to the coronavirus.

“We also have serious concerns about the health and wellbeing of our staff and members who would be campaigning in the run up to 7 May. As such, we have today advised our Constituency Labour Parties to cancel all campaigning and meetings.”

Labour also notes that elections in 2001 were postponed because of the foot and mouth outbreak and that “this is a far more serious situation affecting human health”.

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