The General Election Campaign Will Restart On Friday Following The Manchester Attack
Labour and the Conservatives are planning to return to the national campaign trail at the end of the week.
Labour and the Conservatives will restart general election campaigning on Friday, as the political world prepares to return to normal business following the Manchester terror attack.
Both parties independently confirmed that national campaigning in the media would resume on Friday, although local candidates will be authorised to begin knocking on doors and attending constituency events from Thursday onwards.
“The British people are united in their resolve that terror will not prevail," said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. "It will not prevent us going about our daily lives or derail our democratic process. Resuming democratic debate and campaigning is an essential mark of the country’s determination to defend our democracy and the unity that the terrorists have sought to attack."
Conservative campaign sources said they would ask their candidates to wait until after a national minute's silence, which will take place on Thursday morning, had been observed before starting door-to-door campaigning.
Corbyn and prime minister Theresa May agreed in the early hours of Monday morning to take the incredibly rare step of suspending all campaigning, just a fortnight before election day, as the scale of the attack became clear. Other parties then followed their lead.
A Labour spokesperson said Friday would be an acceptable day to return to the national campaign trail, while the Conservatives said they felt Friday was appropriate. The Liberal Democrats said "no decision" had been taken on when leader Tim Farron would return to campaigning, although they are expected to follow suit. The SNP told BuzzFeed News it would also allow local campaigning to restart on Thursday, with the party returning to national campaigning on Friday.
UKIP said it would restart their national campaign and launch their manifesto on Thursday morning, having already had to postpone the document's launch by a day due to the terror attack.
The prime minister could be missing until the weekend. May is due to fly to Italy for the G7 meeting, which takes place on Friday and Saturday, where she will meet world leaders including Angela Merkel and Donald Trump.
"We have to, first of all, be clear about the nature of the threat," defence secretary Michael Fallon told the BBC, when asked when he wanted to see the campaign restart in full. "The independent threat assessment is that a further attack is still very likely.
"In the end it will be for the political parties to decide when it is appropriate to resume."