The government has announced that the local and mayoral elections, due to take place on 7 May, will be postponed for 12 months due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
UK voters were set to cast their ballots for English local councils, the London Assembly, the London Mayor, seven English regional Mayors, as well as police and crime commissioners in England and Wales.
As the number of cases continues to rise each day, the UK has now moved to the ‘delay’ phase of controlling the virus, with many organisations cancelling large events and advising staff to work from home.
With the government taking steps to deal with the escalating pandemic, the decision to postpone the upcoming May polls will allow local authorities to focus their efforts on supporting public services and alleviate the inevitable economic impacts
Commenting on the news, Co-leader of the Green Party Jonathan Bartley said: “The health and welfare of our members, activists and the wider community absolutely must be top priority. So despite being on course to make significant gains in May off the back of our 60 per cent increase in vote share at the General Election in December, we are supportive of a postponement.
“The situation with COVID-19 is changing all the time and we hope that if this health crisis allows, the elections can happen sooner than May next year. We wouldn’t like to see an arbitrary delay followed through without good reason.”
Green Party Co-leader Sian Berry, who announced in February that she would be running to replace Sadiq Khan as London Mayor, commented: "The decision to postpone the elections is the right one. I hope they will be held as soon as practicable, and meanwhile all of us on the Assembly will focus on taking care of Londoners.
“The campaign for a Green Mayor and more Assembly Members will continue in good time.
"There is so much good work that new Greens could be doing in City Hall and across the country so it is important that democracy is not delayed any longer than absolutely necessary and, if we can go ahead sooner, we definitely should."
The announcement follows the news that the Green Party has cancelled its Spring Conference, which was due to take place in Brighton this weekend (20-22 March).