Black Lives Matter’s application to become a political party has been rejected by the Electoral Commission because its name would be “likely to mislead voters”.
The global activist group previously applied to become a political party, in an attempt to gain power through elected government.
A spokesperson for the independent election watchdog has suggested that a “reasonable voter” could assume that the party represents, or is in some way associated with “the grassroots BLM movement and its official UK affiliate”.
The application to become a political party was submitted to the Electoral Commission last summer, by a group that has remained anonymous. This was only months after convicted criminal George Floyd was killed by police officers in Minneapolis.
Conservative backbenchers have claimed the application to set up the party proved that BLM was a partisan political project with left-wing objectives, including “deconstructing the concept of ‘family’ and defunding the police”.
In response to the application, an Electoral Commission spokesperson said: “The application to register Black Lives Matter as a political party was refused by the Commission on the basis that the proposed name is likely to mislead a voter as to the effect of their vote.”
BLM was attempting to create splinter groups across the whole of the UK, including the Black Lives Matter Party for Scotland, the Black Lives Matter Party for Wales and Black Lives Matter for the GLA.
The Electoral Commission’s website states that the party would have existed across all of the UK if the application was successful.
BLM has been criticised for a number of offences during their violent riots across the summer of 2020, involving numerous attempts at arson, vandalism and brutality.