Image source – Michael Gwyther-Jones, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The recent passing of the Duke of Edinburgh left the British public in deep sorrow. Husband of Queen Elizabeth II, he was the longest-serving royal consort in British history. Prince Philip has been at the Queen’s side for over her six decades of reign. His death influences political campaigns and actions in the near future. UK politics and the death of Prince Philip connect in terms of the proceedings of elections campaigns. We dedicate this article to explain how political actions are likely to change.
Prince Philip died at age 99. The Duke of Edinburgh was a member of the British royal family and the husband of Elizabeth II. Philip was born into the Greek and Danish royal families. Leading politicians will meet in the UK’s parliaments and assemblies later to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh. Throughout the nationwide mourning of the Prince, the suspension of political campaigning will happen out of respect for the Royal family. The national mourning will last till 17 April, the official funeral date.
UK politics and Prince Philip: Suspended campaigning
There will be no No 10 press conferences. Furthermore, there should not be any press announcement unless urgent manners. Additionally, no appearances happen on broadcast media from frontbench politicians in government or from Labour until after the funeral. In relation, the Labour and Conservative Parties informed MPs to steer clear of proactive media appearances. Some local campaigning will resume from Tuesday ahead of the 6 May elections after parliament convenes on Monday to pay tribute to the duke. Mayoral campaigning is also expected to restart on Tuesday and local politicians will have freer rein from their parties to speak on local issues (Source: Guardian).
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 of the Prince’s death. In Scotland, the SNP said they had paused their campaign with “immediate effect”. Ahead of the 6 May polling day, the Scottish Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats made 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 (Source: politics home).
What will happen to the May elections?
According to the schedule, local elections in the United Kingdom are on 6 May 2021. For 145 English local councils, thirteen directly elected mayors in England, and 39 police and crime commissioners in England and Wales. As news state, the suspension of campaigning will effectively bring forward the pre-election “purdah” period. During this time, the activities of civil servants and ministers are curtailed. The pre-election period in the United Kingdom is the time between the announcement of an election and the formation of the newly elected government. It affects civil servants, who must be politically impartial. Furthermore, it prevents the central and local government from making announcements about any new or controversial government initiatives. With, the aim of avoiding advantageous behaviour to any candidates or parties in the forthcoming election (Source: Wikipedia).
There are no changes in sight for the official election date. In fact, the London Mayoral elections, Scottish Parliament elections and Welsh Parliament elections will also happen on 6 May, according to British news and online sportsbook sites in the UK. Bet365 Sportsbook features all the major elections happening next month. In a recent article, we discussed the possible outcome of the London Mayoral Elections in 2021. The death of Prince Philip and UK politics affected the campaign period. However, all major parties agreed upon the pause out of respect for the duke.