Boris Johnson postpones local elections on May 7 due to coronavirus

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson today decided to postpone the local elections scheduled for May 7 in England, including the London mayoralty, for a year due to the coronavirus crisis.

The decision comes after the British Electoral Commission - the regulator of electoral processes - warned on Thursday that the elections should be delayed until at least next fall in order to "mitigate" the impact of COVID-19.

This body considers that there are "growing risks" in holding these elections, which were to have been held in 118 consistories in England and London, where Labor Sadiq Khan aspires to revalidate his position.

"We will push through legislation to postpone local, mayoral and police commissioner elections until May next year," said a British government spokeswoman.

Downing Street - residence and official office of the chief executive - considers that it is not practical to continue with these elections since the date would coincide with the peak of the virus outbreak, which has already caused 11 deaths in the United Kingdom, including one registered today in Scotland, and almost 800 confirmed infected.

The elections were to take place in some 118 city councils in England, in the London Assembly and City Hall and in seven regional authorities.

On 7 May, police commissioners from various districts were also to be elected by vote, in both England and Wales.

The cancellation comes after Boris Johnson announced yesterday that his government has entered the second phase of its plan against the outbreak of the virus, which will from now on try to "delay" its spread instead of containing it, although it avoids the drastic measures such as the closing of schools or the ban on mass events.

The Executive limits itself to asking all those who develop symptoms such as cough and fever, even if they are mild, to isolate themselves at home for at least seven days.

In the wake of the health crisis, a government spokesman ruled out today at a media meeting in Westminster that the prime minister is going to request an extension of the Brexit transition period, which will end in principle on December 31.

That source ruled out that possibility after the negotiations between London and Brussels on their future relationship, which had been set for next week, due to the spread of the virus, were canceled and the option of holding those meetings through videoconferences is now being valued.


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