Coronavirus: Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner elections cancelled

The coronavirus outbreak has led to the cancellation of elections for a new Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner.

Local elections for May 2020 have been postponed until next year
Local elections for May 2020 have been postponed until next year

Council elections in Sussex also due to be held in Hastings, Crawley, Adur and Worthing on the same day have also been postponed and will now be held in 2021.

Conservative Katy Bourne has been Sussex’s PCC since 2012 and will be seeking a third term of office.

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This follows a letter sent by the Electoral Commission on Thursday (March 12) urging ministers to delay the May polls until the autumn.

A day later and the Government followed the commission’s advice and suspended local elections due to be held this year until 2021.

Robert Jenrick, the Government’s Communities and Local Government Minister, confirmed the move and said they would be bringing forward legislation ‘to effect this shortly’.

He said: “It’s right that local authorities can focus on their vital role in delivering public services in the weeks ahead.

“As Local Government Secretary, I will continue to work with councils across the country to ensure they have the support they need at this difficult time.”

Ms Bourne tweeted: “I welcome Government’s decision to postpone PCC elections. This allows local authorities time to focus attention on delivering services and mitigates risk to voters and campaigners. Public health must remain our priority. My thanks to our emergency services for all they’re doing.”

Bob Posner, chief executive at the Electoral Commission, added: “We welcome and support the UK Government’s decision to postpone the May elections. This will allow local authorities to focus their efforts on delivering front line public services and importantly, mitigates risks to voters and campaigners.

“We will work with the wider electoral community to ensure elections in 2021, including these postponed elections, are well run, command public trust and attract high levels of participation.”