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COUNCIL TO APPEAL LOCAL POLL JUDICIAL REVIEW DECISION

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Tower Hamlets LBC is to appeal against yesterday's High Court ruling that it was wrong in not allowing three candid...
Tower Hamlets LBC is to appeal against yesterday's High Court ruling that it was wrong in not allowing three candidates to stand for election on 4 May.

In finding against the council, the court ruled that the elections in the

St Katharine's and Wapping ward, should not take place on 4 May.

Full details of the ruling here

The council says the ruling means that where an informal offer of

assistance exists this will become binding on councils as a duty, creating

an 'expectation' that nomination forms would be checked prior to the

deadline.

The council is to appeal this ruling as the application of this legal

doctrine would have far wider council obligations with regards to all local

government decisions. This ruling has national implications and therefore

is of interest and importance to all local authorities.

The council also wants the elections in the affected ward - St Katharine's

and Wapping - to go ahead, as postponing it will cause confusion for the

electorate. The electorate is expecting to vote on 4 May. Postponing the

election in St Katharine's and Wapping will also leave the electorate

without representation from Monday 8 May when the incumbent councillors

automatically retire, therefore disenfranchising them until a new election

date can be arranged.

The potential candidates, from the Respect Party, were told by the council

after the deadline for nominations had passed on 3 April that their forms

were invalid because they had been wrongly filled out - and they could not

stand. Mr Justice Keith accepted that the law says the returning officer

had no discretion in law to allow the three to be candidates because the

forms were wrong.

The appeal will be heard in the High Court today.

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