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[15 APR 99]  POLITICS NEWS
Socialist Party Name Changes

Coventry Councillor and former city MP Dave Nellist is to become the first person in Britain to have a party named after him.

Officials in charge of party registration at next month’s local elections have barred the Socialist Party appearing on ballot papers because who many parties have similar names.

The move has enraged Nellist, who claimed that there are eight similarly named parties and only his has been forced to change.

The party will now by known at the Socialist Alternative (Nellist) party – but only on the night of the vote on 6 May.

Nellist told CWN:

"It really is a nonsense. The whole thing arose because there were a series of cranks who stood under the banner of things like Literal Democrats and the Conversative Party at the last election in a bid to fool people away from the larger parties.

"They have gagged just us but allowed the Socialist Party of Great Britian, which only had about four candidates at the last election, the Socialist Party of Northern Ireland, the Scottish Socialist Party and the Socialist Alliance. There are also 10 parties with the word democratic in their title.

"We will campaign under our normal name but it is just on the night that the new title will be used. I have to say that I was not involved in the decision to include my name and the party just thought there wasn’t time to establish the new title in the minds of people before the election."

Nellist and his party have vowed to fight the decision in time for the next round of elections.

"We will carry on to try to get the decision changed or we could have a situation where I am not allowed in four years time to stand by the name with which I got elected.

"I think the whole thing is far more confusing for the electors than leaving everything as it was."

The party is fielding six candidates in the elections.
  

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CWN / Politics / 15 Apr 99

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