POLITICS

Ukip First To Resume General Election Campaigning With Manifesto Launch

'Prolonging the disruption to normality' allows the 'terrorists to win', says Paul Nuttall

24/05/2017 15:46 BST | Updated 24/05/2017 16:26 BST

Ukip will launch its election manifesto on Thursday as it becomes the first party to resume national campaigning after the Manchester terror attack.

All election activity was immediately suspended in the wake of Monday evening’s tragedy that saw 22 people, including a suicide bomber, killed at an Ariana Grande concert.

Ukip postponed its election manifesto launch – scheduled for today (Wednesday) – but Paul Nuttall confirmed the pro-Brexit party would resume campaigning on Thursday.

Labour will allow local campaigning to resume on Thursday, with national activity restarting on Friday. 

Read more: Manchester Bombing Latest News: Year 9 Pupil, Nell Jones, Named As Victim

In a statement, the Ukip leader said: “We are all horrified by the horrific events that took place in Manchester.

“Following those events it is right and proper that political parties suspended their campaigns for a short period as a mark of respect to those who lost their lives or suffered appalling injuries. 

“But we cannot be cowed or allow our way of life to be undermined by those who wish to do us harm. These people hate the way we live, hate our freedom and hate our democracy.

“The best response we can make is to ensure that the democratic process continues and therefore I have decided that we must to go ahead with the launch of the Ukip general election manifesto tomorrow.

“For those who say that nothing must change, but then complain, it is by prolonging the disruption to normality that we allow the terrorists to win. 

“Politics has never been more important, politicians must deal with these issues.”

Ukip is the last of the major parties to release its manifesto, with polling day just over two weeks away.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been in constant touch with Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss not only the election, but other issues relating to the ongoing investigation into the attack.

An email from Labour HQ to candidates sent this afternoon read: “Campaigns should not be using social media, shouldn’t be taking part in hustings events, fundraising or street stalls, and shouldn’t undertake phone canvassing or doorstep Voter ID.”

It added: “Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed that all local campaign activity may resume from tomorrow, including door-knocking and events.”

National campaigning will resume on Friday.

After Labour’s Jo Cox was murdered by a terrorist during last year’s EU Referendum campaign, all activity was suspended for three days.

Parliament was also recalled to allow MPs to pay tribute to Cox.

However, as Parliament has been dissolved by the Queen ahead of the election, there are currently no MPs – meaning they cannot be recalled.