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Woman’s Equality mayoral candidate files complaint against Barnet Council after voting shambles

PUBLISHED: 12:30 05 May 2016 | UPDATED: 14:25 05 May 2016

Sophie Walker.  This image is copyright Fiona Hanson 2016©.

Sophie Walker. This image is copyright Fiona Hanson 2016©.

Fiona Hanson © Copyright 2016

London mayoral candidate, Sophie Walker, has made a formal complaint against Barnet Council after scores of voters were turned away from ballot boxes across the borough.

Ms Walker, the Woman’s Equality mayoral candidate, told the Press Association: “I am very disappointed. I have spent my morning responding to messages from people upset that they could not vote.

“Women first got the vote 100 years ago and there are women today who have been unable to vote.

“These are vital votes, particularly for smaller parties. We will be pursuing a complaint.”

Voters across Barnet were turned away from polling stations this morning after their names were not on the electoral registers.

The council has since apologised and said the registers are now up-to-date.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and his wife Valerie were among those to be turned away from their polling station.

He is said to be “disappointed” as he will be unable to vote later because he is flying to Amsterdam for a visit to the Jewish Community Centre.

Zac Goldsmith’s team appealed to voters turned away from polling stations to return later.

A spokesman for the Tory mayoral candidate said: “There has clearly been a major problem across the whole of the borough of Barnet that has resulted in properly registered voters being turned away.

“As we speak, the problem has not yet been rectified although we understand that the local Returning Officer is belatedly reprinting registers and it remains to be seen what the effect of this will be upon the three ballots taking place there.

“We would strongly encourage any voters wrongly turned away to return to their polling stations at any time up to 10pm this evening if at all possible.”

A Barnet Council spokesman said: “All the updated electoral registers are now in place and people can vote as normal.

“We are advising people who were unable to vote this morning to return again before the polling stations close if at all possible. We apologise for the problems we have experienced.”

Andrew Dismore, who is defending his GLA seat in London and Barnet, said: “We have now been told by Barnet Council that this issue has been resolved – (everyone) can vote as normal.”

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