Ealing Council Refuses to Host Iranian Polling Station

Decision made due to concerns about protests at presidential vote

Perceval House

July 3, 2024

Ealing Council has withdrawn permission for the Iranian government to use Perceval House for a polling station in its presidential elections.

The council issued a statement in which it says that it had been made aware of protests being planned during voting for the successor to Ebrahim Raisi who died in a helicopter crash last month. The decision was taken to cancel the booking due to safety concerns and the impact any protests might have on preparations for the UK elections.

Anti-government groups have consistently held protests outside the Iranian Embassy in Kensington and many believe the election is just a rubber stamp exercise to chose another conservative president. Voting in Iranian elections has been in steady decline with less than half the population participating and only around a tenth in areas of Tehran.

Voting was due to take place last Friday (28 June) but the council issued the statement the previous day in which it said, “We have informed the Iranian Embassy this morning that we are no longer able to host a polling station at Perceval House for the Iranian presidential election which takes place tomorrow. This is due to us being made aware in the last 12 hours of growing concerns from some of our communities, with protests being planned for tomorrow at Perceval House on a significant scale.

“We take community concerns and the safety of our residents and staff very seriously and have therefore had to review this booking.

“We are currently in the middle of significant preparations on the Perceval House site, where votes in three parliamentary constituencies will be counted on 4 and 5 July. We are working to a very tight schedule to ensure the necessary arrangements are put in place which meet all health and safety requirements to ensure the smooth running of the UK General Election.

“Any disruption to our ability to access Perceval House at this critical time would put our schedule in jeopardy, which we cannot risk.”

There were four other polling stations in London for the Iranian elections and anyone turning up to vote a Perceval House was directed to them.

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