Boris Johnson has postponed the May 7 elections for one year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Government said on Friday that the Prime Minister has delayed the local, mayoral and police and crime commission elections until May 2021.

Mr Johnson made the decision over concerns that voters would be heading to polling stations during the height of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Both the Electoral Commission and the Labour Party had called on the PM to take action in delaying the votes.

A Government spokeswoman said: “We will bring forward legislation to postpone local, mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections until May next year.

“We will also work with the devolved administrations to ensure that they have the necessary powers to do the same.”

The PM’s move is the most significant delay to polling since then-prime minister Tony Blair suspended the local and general elections in 2001 over the foot and mouth outbreak.

Votes were due to be held in about 118 councils across England, while Londoners were to choose their mayor and police and crime commissioners were due to be selected in 40 areas across England and Wales.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said the decision to postpone the Mayoral election was “the right thing to do at this time”. He said: “It is essential that decisions are based on the best available evidence from medical experts so that we do all we can to keep everyone safe.”

Jessie Joe Jacobs, Labour’s Tees Valley mayoral Candidate, said: “Postponing these elections is absolutely the right thing to do while we’re in the midst of national and international crisis. It is right that the time and energy of our public servants is focused on dealing with the crisis. I will be leading efforts by the Labour Party in the Tees valley to support our communities however we can during this time. I stand shoulder to shoulder with all our public servants who are working tirelessly to deal with this crisis.”

Commenting on the decision, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan said: “Given the spread of coronavirus and the unpredictability of the weeks ahead, I completely understand this decision.

“For the time being, every focus we have must be to ensure the health and wellbeing of people across North Yorkshire and the country as a whole. It follows that I remain in office and committed to the role to ensure there is continuity at a time when our brave emergency services will no doubt be tested.”