Northern Ireland

Labour Party activists in Northern Ireland miss assembly election deadline

Ballot box Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption With no place on the register, even individual Labour members standing in the assembly election can only be identified as independents

Labour Party activists keen on contesting the NI Assembly election in May have missed the deadline for the register of political parties.

Nominations for candidates open on 31 March and it is believed Labour should have put its application in by 7 March.

In December, NI Labour activists passed a motion suggesting they should organise in order to contest elections.

But with no place on the register, even individual Labour members standing can only be identified as independents.

The major obstacle facing activists in Northern Ireland is that the party's headquarters in London has not given permission for local Labour candidates to stand in Northern Ireland elections.

Labour's national executive committee is currently reviewing the matter.

Should the Labour Party ever decide to register in Northern Ireland, one additional complication may be that the name Labour Party of Northern Ireland has been registered since 2005.

The name belongs to a former SDLP councillor, Malachi Curran, who was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum as a Labour candidate in 1996.

NI followers of Jeremy Corbyn's party organise under the similar but slightly different name of Labour Party in Northern Ireland.

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