Local Liberal Democrats Are Leafleting For May Elections Despite Campaign Pause After Prince Philip's Death
The Liberal Democrats have defended local activists who continued campaigning over the weekend
The Liberal Democrats have claimed their pledge to suspend their "national" campaign does not apply to local activists delivering leaflets.
The party has defended their decision to allow activists to deliver leaflets over the weekend, despite leader Ed Davey saying their "national" campaign would be suspended.
Speaking on Friday, Davey had joined other party leaders in paying tribute to Prince Philip, saying the decision to suspend the campaign was a "mark of respect" to the Royal Family.
Both Labour and the Conservatives have also announced plans to halt all election activities until Monday evening following the death of the senior royal, with local activists in both parties being urged to refrain from campaigning over the weekend.
But responding to the reports that multiple groups of Liberal Democrat activists had continued leafleting over recent days, including for the party's London Mayoral candidate, Luisa Porritt, a party spokesperson said local teams were "well-placed to decide what is the most appropriate response".
"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," they said.
"Local teams in local communities are well-placed to decide what is the most appropriate response in their area."
Questioned about the decision to continue campaigning, April Preston, one of the party's local election candidates, tweeted: "The Liberal Democrats have said 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."
A small number of Labour activists have also been reported to have been out campaigning over the weekend, despite a request from the party's leadership to avoid leafletting or canvassing.
Following the Duke's death, Boris Johnson announced a period of national mourning set to last until 8am on the day after the funeral.
During the eight day period, there will be no Downing Street press conferences or government announcements, unless related urgent Covid updates.
Frontbench politicians will also not appear for interviews during the mourning period, while MPs from both parties have been ordered to refrain from making media appearances.
Meanwhile, union flags will remain at half mast on all major public buildings, including No10, until Sunday morning.
The Labour Party have been approached for comment.
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