Question to the Cabinet Office:
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by the Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Evans of Bowes Park) on 28 January (HL Deb col 1804), what representations they received from members of political parties prior to issuing the letter on campaign leaflets on 22 January.
Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. As outlined in my Written Ministerial Statement of 8 February 2021 (HLWS766), the Government has confirmed that the set of council, mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.
The Government has published a clear Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff.
Current National Lockdown restrictions in England do not support door-to-door campaigning or leafleting by individual political party activists. However, campaigning is an essential part of democracy. Voters deserve to be well informed before going to the polls and there must be a level playing field for candidates. Further information on campaigning guidance and the interaction with prevailing covid restrictions will be issued in due course and well in advance of the polls.