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Media statement

News release published: 26-04-2014

The Electoral Commission has today apologised for allowing ‘Britain First’, a political party standing in the European Elections in May, to register the party description ‘Remember Lee Rigby’, which will now be included on the ballot paper in the elections in Wales. We have only just realised this mistake and are issuing this statement now that we have spoken to Lee Rigby’s family.

Jenny Watson, Chair of the Electoral Commission said:  “The Electoral Commission is deeply sorry for the offence that has been caused and I have apologised to Lee Rigby’s family. We are particularly sorry at the pain that this will cause them, particularly since polling day falls on the first anniversary of Drummer Rigby’s murder.

"The party description ‘Remember Lee Rigby’ that was registered for use at the European Elections in May by ‘Britain First’ should never have been permitted. We are sorry that the decision we made means that voters in Wales will now see the description on the ballot paper when they vote. We have looked carefully at what can be done to stop this from happening and we greatly regret that we have not found a way for the ballot papers to be changed. We will ensure the description is removed from the register for future elections.”

Ends  

For further information contact Rosemary Davenport in the Electoral Commission press office on 07789 920 414

Notes to editors

  1. The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. Our aim is integrity and public confidence in the UK’s democratic process. We regulate party and election finance and set standards for well-run elections and are responsible for the conduct and regulations of referendum held under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (2000).

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