Candidates standing as councillors in local elections will soon not have to publish their home addresses on ballot papers, says the prime minister.
In a speech yesterday to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage, Theresa May announced the Government will consult on a new offence in electoral law of intimidating parliamentary candidates and their campaigners.
The current offence of electoral intimidation relates to undue influence on voters.
As part of Whitehall’s effort to tackle intimidation and abuse of people taking part in elections, Mrs May said the Government would bring forward legislation to remove the requirement for candidates in local elections to have their addresses published on ballot papers.
This measure would be implemented in time for local elections in May 2019.
Voters would still be informed whether or not the candidate lived locally, and candidates could still list a home address if they wished.
‘Intimidation is completely unacceptable in any form – and there is a clear difference between legitimate scrutiny and conduct which is fuelled by hate and personal abuse,’ said the minister for the constitution, Chloe Smith.
‘We can’t let intimidation of our candidates, campaigners, the public and those that serve us continue unchecked. Our democracy is a tolerant and inclusive one.
‘By avoiding giving out personal information that can be abused and legislating against intimidation of candidates and their campaigners we can make public life more accessible to all who want to participate.’