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13 Mar, 2020 16:44

PM Johnson postpones May's elections in England including London mayor till 2021 to avoid clash with coronavirus peak

PM Johnson postpones May's elections in England including London mayor till 2021 to avoid clash with coronavirus peak

The UK government has announced that local and mayoral elections scheduled for May are to be postponed for one year due to the Covid-19 epidemic to avoid the expected peak of the virus in late spring.

Voters in England were scheduled to go to the polls on May 7 — including for the London Mayoral contest — but just hours after the PM's spokesperson said they were "working to facilitate" the elections, they have now been taken off the 2020 political calendar.

Responding to the move, London Mayor Sadiq Khan –who was up for re-election– has taken to Twitter to insist that he "will continue to work with the Government and experts to help London manage coronavirus over the weeks and months ahead.” 

While Independent candidate for London Mayor Rory Stewart claimed that was the "right decision,” adding that the government should be moving more quickly to “close gatherings and schools.”

It comes a day after the Electoral Commission advised that May's elections should be delayed until the autumn to "mitigate" the impact of the virus. Ten people have died with the virus, with 798 cases confirmed UK-wide.

Earlier on Friday the director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom, revealed that Europe had become the center of the coronavirus outbreak, with the death toll from the pandemic surpassing 5,000.

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