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Local Government: Elections

Question for Cabinet Office

UIN HL13672, tabled on 24 February 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 22 February (HL13270), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, further to the letter dated 22 January from the Minister for the Constitution and Devolution to members of the Parliamentary Parties Panel and the May 2021 polls delivery plan, published on 5 February, what steps they have taken to ensure that (1) independent, and (2) smaller political party, candidates are not disproportionately affected by the restrictions on (a) doorstep campaigning, and (b) the delivery of leaflets by individual political party activists.

Answered on

10 March 2021

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. As outlined in the Written Ministerial Statement of 8 February 2021 (HLWS766), the Government has confirmed that the set of council, mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

On 22 February, the Prime Minister announced the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown and we have since then published guidance on campaigning reflecting the updated COVID restrictions effective from 8 March. In developing this guidance, the Government consulted a number of groups, including the Parliamentary Parties Panel and the Local Government Association; we are committed to ensuring we take into consideration the views of independent candidates as effectively as possible.

From 8 March, individual activists will be able to campaign outdoors in a COVID-secure way. The rules will allow for individual campaigners to deliver leaflets and to engage with electors on their doorsteps - but they should always be socially distanced and not enter inside people’s homes.

Answered by

Cabinet Office