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Manchester Bombing: Labour And Tories To Resume General Election Campaign On Friday

Minute's silence on Thursday, then local campaigns restart.

25/05/2017 1:52 AM AEST | Updated 25/05/2017 3:39 AM AEST
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Jeremy Corbyn will resume Labour’s general election campaign on Friday with a defiant message that terrorists cannot be allowed to “derail” British democracy.

The Labour leader informed Theresa May that his party would restart its activity after a three-day suspension to honour those killed and injured in the Manchester bombing.

The Conservatives will also resume their national campaign on Friday.

The party will wait for a minute’s silence in memory of the Manchester victims at 11am on Thursday, before resuming its local activity, HuffPost UK has learned.

Flags on all Government buildings will remain at half mast until Thursday evening. 

A Conservative spokesman said: “The Conservative Party will resume local campaigning for the General Election at noon Thursday, after the minute’s silence to remember all those who lost their lives and others who were affected by the callous attack on innocent life in Manchester. National campaigning will resume on Friday.”

Theresa May will be at a Nato summit in Brussels on Thursday and then a G7 global summit on Friday, and will be unable to herself lead the Tory campaign until Saturday at the earliest.

On Wednesday, Labour allowed local candidates to carry out party leaflet delivery, but banned canvassing or any other activity.

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Theresa May's party will resume national campaigning on Friday too.

But it will step up low-key campaigning at local level on Thursday as part of a ‘phased’ approach to getting the campaign back to normal.

Corbyn said in a statement: “The British people are united in their resolve that terror will not prevail. 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.”

Corybn will make a keynote speech on democracy on Friday, marking the end of the ‘truce’ between the two big parties as they conduct the final run-in to polling day on June 8.

Before the Manchester terror attack, Labour activists felt they had begun to change the narrative of the election campaign.

The Tories’ opinion poll lead had halved in recent weeks and May had on Monday suffered the embarrassment of a major U-turn on her social care policy for the elderly.

Corbyn and May agreed to suspend their party campaigns in the early hours of Tuesday as the devastating news emerged of the 22 dead and 64 injured by suicide bomber Salman Abedi at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester Arena.

The two leaders have kept in contact since the terrorist atrocity and HuffPost UK has been told that Corbyn informed May personally of the timing of his party’s resumption of its campaign.

Both the Labour and Tory leader will face Jeremy Paxman on Bank Holiday Monday in a live televised election programme for SkyNews and Channel 4.

Corbyn, like other party leaders other than May, is expected to re-arrange his BBC1 interview with Andrew Neil.

UKIP are to launch their own delayed manifesto announcement on Thursday. 

The Liberal Democrats said that “no decision” had been made on when the party would resume its own campaigning locally and nationally.

The Green Party confirmed to HuffPost UK that they would restart local activity on Thursday and were expected to return to normal campaigning on Friday.

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