Mark Flanagan | 10.11.2014 10:15 | Globalisation
November 10, 2014
What's in a name?
Well apparently a great deal if you are the UK Electoral Commission who approved NOTA as a name for a new progressive force in British politics back in January but have now changed their minds.
The NOTA Party officials received a letter on October 27 stating NOTA does not fit with their guidelines, more than four years after NOTA was first registered as a party name by former boxer Terry Marsh.
It was then deregistered by Marsh to allow its reregistration by a group who are planning to stand dozens of candidates at next year's general election as a single issue party – the installment of the none of the above option on all UK ballot papers.
The NOTA Party were deep in planning for the May 7th election when the bombshell was dropped but leader Adrian Langan has made it clear it will not halt the campaign, which has gathered a great deal of momentum in the last 12 months.
Adrian said: "This campaign at no time sought to deceive the Electoral Commission into approving the NOTA party name. The link was clear from the outset. This campaign re registered the NOTA party in January 2014 with the full approval of the Electoral Commission. NOTA was first registered in 2009.
"During the registration process we had to submit a NOTA party constitution, manifesto and emblem. Both documents clearly stated that we were a single issue party with the None of the Above option the only aim, the emblem clearly had NOTA written across it.
"All of this was completed according to Electoral Commission rules and the NOTA party was subsequently approved by them.
"Now 10 months later, with the election getting closer, they have revoked their earlier decision on the basis that NOTA is an acronym for None of the Above.
"This link was clear from the outset with documentation in place that confirmed this fact.
"If the Electoral Commission felt this contravened their rules, they could have rejected the initial application not just this time but also in 2009."
In their letter to the NOTA Party the Electoral Commission said: "On 20 October we wrote to all registered parties informing of a change to the Commission’s policy on how acronyms, the capitalisation of words, numbers, and links to the internet can be used as, or as part of, party identity marks. Our guidance document Overview of party names, descriptions, and emblems has been updated to reflect these changes.
"The review identified that your registered party name and emblem contains an acronym. This letter requests that you apply to make changes to your party name and emblem as outlined in this letter and notifies you of how the Commission will proceed in the event of this not taking place."
The NOTA Party are currently examining all avenues to fight the decision and are considering a name change contingency plan.
Langan added: "It's very clear NOTA poses a huge threat to the political system. It is the people's voice and it must be fought for."
For further information contact party leader Adrian Langan on 07983 767568 or email firstname.lastname@example.org