Liberal Democrats accused of breaking mourning pledge day after Prince Philip's death

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Gordon Rayner
·2 min read
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Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey paid tribute to Prince Philip in the House Commons today - AFP
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey paid tribute to Prince Philip in the House Commons today - AFP

Liberal Democrat activists have continued leafleting homes ahead of the local elections despite the party agreeing to suspend its “national” campaign.

On Friday Sir Ed Davey, the leader of the LibDems, said his party would join its rivals in suspending its campaign “as a mark of respect to the Duke of Edinburgh”.

Labour and the Conservatives suspended all election activities over the weekend.

But the LibDems were accused of breaking the pledge on Saturday and Sunday as campaigners tweeted pictures of themselves delivering leaflets, including in London where the party’s candidate Luisa Porritt is contesting the mayoral election on May 6.

A party spokesman claimed that while “national” campaigning had been suspended, local teams were “well-placed to decide what is the most appropriate response”.

A spokesman said: “All national Liberal Democrat campaigning in England, Scotland and Wales has been suspended since Friday, that continued through the weekend and will do until an appropriate time today.”

However April Preston, one of the party’s local election candidates, gave a different reason when challenged on Twitter, claiming the LibDems had only agreed to “two days no campaigning. The day of his death and a day of mourning for his funeral”.

She added: “No one agreed much cross party. The Tories said till Tuesday. We are not the Tories.”

The Conservatives and Labour were due to resume campaigning on Monday night with another pause expected on Saturday, the day of the Duke’s funeral.

Britain is currently in an eight-day period of national mourning, which means flags being flown at half mast and the suspension of all Government announcements, new legislation, press conferences and ministerial interviews.

However with the local elections just over three weeks away, the parties have agreed that some campaigning can continue over the course of this week.

Prince Philip: his funeral
Prince Philip: his funeral