Coronavirus: Norwich City Council and police and crime commissioner elections postponed
PUBLISHED: 16:11 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:11 13 March 2020
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The coronavirus outbreak will mean elections for Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner and at Norwich City Council will be postponed for a year.
The Electoral Commission had written to Norwich North MP Chloe Smith - the government's constitution minister - to recommend local elections be postponed.
And the government has announced that they are to be put off for a year. A spokeswoman said: 'We will bring forward legislation to postpone local, mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections until May next year.
'We will also work with the devolved administrations to ensure that they have the necessary powers to do the same.'
The commission had warned the coronavirus outbreak meant there were 'real risks' to holding votes in May and had advocated that ministers put off the votes until the autumn due to the 'unprecedented times'.
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Mayoral, council and police and crime commissioner elections are scheduled for May 7.
In Norfolk, there were due to be elections for a third of seats at Norwich City Council and for the role of Norfolk police and crime commissioner.
The Norfolk police and crime commissioner role is currently held by Conservative Lorne Green, who had stated his intention to stand down.
The police and crime commissioner role in Suffolk had also been due to be voted on.
Before the postponement announcement, the Labour group in Norwich had said it would be suspending door knocking because of concerns around coronavirus transmission.
The commission's plea came only hours after London mayor Sadiq Khan had said chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty had assured him there was 'no logical reason to postpone or cancel elections'.
Prime minister Boris Johnson, in a sombre press conference in Downing Street yesterday, warned that coronavirus was the 'worst public health crisis for a generation'.