William Eichler 02 April 2019

Whitehall announces preparations for EU elections

The Government has written to the Electoral Commission confirming that it will help local authorities prepare for possible European elections in May.

Cabinet office minister David Lidington has said that Whitehall will reimburse ‘reasonable’ spending by returning officers during contingency preparations for European Parliamentary Elections.

In a letter to Bob Posner, the chief executive of the Electoral Commission, Mr Lidington stressed it was the Government’s position for the UK to leave the EU with a deal and without taking part in the May elections.

However, he agreed that contingency plans were necessary.

‘I agree it is important that returning officers and electoral administrators should be able to plan effectively to deliver national polls which are well-run and fair, and seen to be so,’ he wrote.

‘Returning officers are independent and responsible for the planning of polls in their own electoral area,’ a cabinet office spokesperson said.

‘We have not instructed them to start preparing for EP elections, but as a responsible Government, we have given them this assurance so they are able to make their own decisions about contingency planning.’

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