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
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.