Party issues challenge over no-go logo

The original Democracy First logo.
The original Democracy First logo.

A local political party whose logo was binned by the Electoral Commission has decided to challenge the decision after all.

The commission struck ‘Democracy First’s’ logo (pictured) from the register of Northern Ireland parties amid concerns it might confuse voters.

At the time, Dromore man and party leader Frazer McCammond, though “bemused” by the move, said: “I have not challenged this decision and am simply submitting revised versions which will hopefully be accepted.”

Now, however, on foot of legal advice, the party is challenging the commission’s verdict on its logo, which Mr McCammond described as “a play on the letter ‘F’ - shaped like a cross, pointing to the founding values of Democracy First, and the ‘st’ to indicate the primacy of that cross”.

Having reviewed party emblems, the commission concluded the Democracy First logo contained a numeral, which, in its opinion, was “likely to hinder an elector’s understanding of directions for voting given on ballot papers”.

A spokesperson said: “It’s all about putting the voter first, so the voter is completely clear and that there is nothing misleading on the ballot paper.

“We took the view that numbers in emblems beside where voters would make their mark could be potentially confusing or misleading . . .”

Parties affected by the review - more than 100 across the UK - were given until the end of January to come up with another emblem to submit to the commission for consideration.

Said Mr McCammond: “Further to the decision by the Electoral Commission to remove Democracy First’s emblem from the Electoral Register a legal opinion offered to the party has concluded the decision of the commission to be irrational . . . a written challenge has been submitted on behalf of the party who will consider the matter further in the light of the Electoral Commission response.”