James Preston refused appeal in expat voting decision

Published:  1 Mar at 6 PM
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As reported by The Telegraph, James Preston, the UK expatriate whose efforts to pressure the Government to grant him a vote in general elections were recently overruled by judges, has been denied permission to appeal.

Mr Preston, who is a fund manager from Leicester, attempted to challenge the High Court last year over the ban on Britons’ voting rights after they have resided overseas for 15 years. Now based in Madrid, Mr Preston argued that the 15 year limit was a breach of his rights granted by EU law to relocate to other member countries without discrimination. However, the case was immediately dismissed in December.

The Briton then asked for formal permission to take the issue to the Court of Appeal before being informed last week that his application had been rejected. Mr Preston stated his right to have an oral hearing over the issue, expressing his disappointment that he may not take it any further if the appeal does not go forward.

The cap on expat voting is tremendously unpopular among many of the approximately 5.5 million UK citizens currently residing overseas, who claim that they too deserve a voice in what occurs in their native land.

Mr Preston, who relocated to Spain during the mid-1990s while struggling to land a job in Britain, argues that he still retains strong connections with his homeland. It is unjust for the Government to consider him insufficiently connected to the UK to have a voice, he claims.

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