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Burnham denies mayoral election delay amid local election confusion

Andy Burnham has said that whether Greater Manchester’s mayoral and council elections take place in May is a matter for government ministers and denied that any decision has already been made.

As the UK moved back into national lockdown on Monday, confusion has reigned over whether or not the new restrictions are likely to result in a delay to local elections across the country.

The BBC reported yesterday that Greater Manchester’s elections were set to be pushed back, but Burnham said in a Twitter video that he is working on the assumption they will take place in May.

The elections, including Burnham’s own mayoral election, are currently slated to take place on 6 May, having already been delayed from the same date in 2020 due to the pandemic.

However, the BBC claimed the region’s council leaders were told yesterday that the elections are expected to be delayed, with uncertainty over when they would take place.

The Government has suggested the summer for a replacement date, with local leaders feeling that the autumn is more realistic.

Burnham said: “I think some of the reports have got a little ahead of things here. I want to stress that no proposal has been put to Greater Manchester.

“We and others will continue to engage with the government on this, but ultimately it’s a decision for government.

“There’s been no decision made and we are working on the basis that they will be taking place in May.”

Burnham, whose public feud with the Government over Tier 3 back in October made national headlines, was asked to stay on for another year as the elections were delayed.

The Prime Minister has said that the date for over 140 local elections across England is set in law, but that the date is constantly under review.

Burnham also called for more usage of postal votes to ensure that elections are carried out safely.

The Cabinet Office has said that measures will be put in place to allow increased postal voting at short notice, however, elections consisting entirely of postal votes have been ruled out.

Featured image taken from Mayor Andy Burnham’s Twitter.

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