Electoral Commission apologises for controversial ballot paper decision

In order to avoid voters being misled by a deliberately misleading party name on a ballot paper (as happened in the Literal Democrat saga – note the third letter), the Electoral Commission these days has to approve the names that parties propose to use.

There’s already been some fuss over the phonebook-SEO-optimising splinter-from-UKIP party which has got itself higher on the ballot paper with its “An independence from Europe” name.

Now there’s also this:

The Electoral Commission has been forced to make an embarrassing apology after allowing an extremist party to use a slogan featuring murdered soldier Lee Rigby.

The watchdog had given the green light for Britain First to use the description “Remember Lee Rigby” on voting slips for next month’s European poll and now it can’t do anything about stopping them.

The commission admitted the gross error was made even worse by the fact polling day falls on the first anniversary of Drummer Rigby’s murder.

Commission chair Jenny Watson said: “We are deeply sorry for the offence that has been caused and I have apologised to Lee Rigby’s family … 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.” …

The Commission said it had signed off the slogan for the party to use across the UK. However, Britain First has opted not to deploy it in Scotland, and is not believed to be fielding candidates in England.

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