Boris Johnson has decided local elections in England will go ahead as planned on May 6, it was claimed today.
The elections were postponed last year because of the coronavirus crisis and there had been fears that ministers would have no choice but to move them back again because of the current surge in infections.
But the Prime Minister is said to have resolved that the nation will go to the polls and vote in person later this year.
The decision will be seen as a major hint that Mr Johnson is confident of lockdown rules being lifted significantly by Easter so that council and mayoral candidates will be able to campaign.
Boris Johnson, pictured in the House of Commons this afternoon, is said to have resolved that local elections in England will go ahead as planned on May 6
A Government source told MailOnline that it has 'always been the expectation' that the May elections will go ahead and there is a 'determination' in Number 10 to stick to the date.
'There is a principle about democratic process taking place,' the source said.
It is understood work is being done in the Cabinet Office on how the polls can be run even if harsh restrictions are still in place by April.
Downing Street would not be publicly drawn on the issue. The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman said: 'It remains the case that it is being kept under review. I don't have an update on that.'
Should restrictions be eased by Easter that would likely give candidates about four weeks to hit the campaign trail before polling day.
A Tory source told The Telegraph: 'By Good Friday [on April 2] restrictions should have started to ease, so that allows four weeks of campaign.
'We just have to accept it's not perfect, but we're in a pandemic.'
Nicola Sturgeon has previously signalled that she plans to go ahead with Holyrood elections scheduled for the same day.