Whitehall prepares for EU elections

By William Eichler | 02 April 2019

The Government has written to the Electoral Commission confirming 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 chief executive of the Electoral Commission, Bob Posner, Mr Lidington stressed it remained 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.

Mr Lidington wrote: ‘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.'

A Cabinet Office spokesman added: ‘We have not instructed them to start preparing for European Parliamentary 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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