William Eichler 13 May 2016

Barnet couldn’t ‘run a whelk stall’ let alone EU vote, Assembly says

Barnet should not be allowed to oversee the EU referendum after the ‘chaos’ of their local elections, the London Assembly says.

The Assembly today agreed a motion calling on the Electoral Commission and London Elects to take over the running of Barnet's election administration before June 23.

The motion said the Assembly had ‘no confidence that Barnet could run a whelk stall’ let alone become organised before the EU referendum.

On May 5 the council sent out the wrong electoral lists to polling stations, an error that left some people unable to vote.

Assembly members also requested an urgent review of the state of the council’s electoral register, which the motion described as ‘worryingly deficient’, and proposed Camden should manage the EU vote in Barnet.

Andrew Dismore AM, who proposed the motion said: ‘The EU referendum is a crucial moment in the UK's future. The chaos caused by Barnet Council's inability to properly administer the London elections throws serious doubt on their ability to oversee the referendum.

‘Until we can be sure Barnet have fully understood and rectified the problems that led to last week's meltdown, the Electoral Commission should step in to ensure the smooth running of the EU referendum in June.’

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