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Political Parties Suspend Campaigning For May Elections After Prince Philip's Death

Election campaigns across the UK have been suspended following the announcement

3 min read

Major political parties have suspended campaigning ahead of next month's elections following the death of Prince Philip.

The royal family announced that the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, had died aged 99 on Friday morning. 

Election campaigns for the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments, as well as for the London Mayoral and England's local elections, have been paused following the announcement.

In Scotland, the SNP said they had paused their campaign with "immediate effect" ahead of the 6 May polling day, with the Scottish Conservatives, Scottish Labour and the Scottish Liberal Democrats making similar announcements.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: "In the middle of a political campaign, this is a reminder of what's most important in life.

"We have lost a tremendous public servant who for decades served his Queen and country. My heartfelt condolences are with Her Majesty and all of the Royal Family.

"We have suspended our campaign effective immediately."

The move comes amid a wider halt announced by the political parties who have only recently begun campaiging for local and mayoral elections in England.

In a tweet, Conservative Party chair Amanda Milling, said: "In light of the sad news from Buckingham Palace all campaigning has been paused until further notice."

A Labour spokesperson also confirmed their election campaign would be suspended, including in London where Mayor Sadiq Khan is standing for re-election.

"As a mark of respect following the sad death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the Labour Party has today suspended all campaigning," they said.

It is unclear when the suspensions, which come less than a month before polling day, will be lifted.

The death of the Prince Philip has also prompted a recall of Parliament a day early, with MPs now set to return from their Easter break on Monday to allow them to make tributes.

Flags at all official buildings, including Number 10 and the Scottish Parliament, are being flown at half mast to mark the announcement, while Downing Street announced Cabinet will meet at 5pm today to allow ministers to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh.

Meanwhile, political parties in Wales have also announced a suspension of their campaigns following the news.

Welsh party Plaid Cymru said in a statement: "As a mark of respect following the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh, Plaid Cymru is suspending campaigning for the Senedd elections."

A number of other smaller parties have also announced plans to halt campaigning, with Reform UK saying: "In light of the sad news of the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Reform UK will be suspending campaigning for the rest of today."

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