Guido’s highlighting of the police’s legal advice, declaring political party leafleting illegal, clearly wasn’t enough to stop eager campaigners putting their activists in harm’s way. As the LibDems, Greens and others continue breaking the current Covid rules ahead of the May elections, Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith has written to party leaders telling them to follow the rules:
“As you will be aware, in recent weeks there have been media reports about political campaigning activity during the national lockdown in England. I am writing to provide some advice to political parties to reflect the UK Government’s position.
Current national lockdown restrictions in England, say: “You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary”. The Government’s view is that these restrictions do not support door to door campaigning or leafleting by individual political party activists. It is widely accepted that voters can continue to get campaigning information remotely. In order to reduce transmission of covid-19 infection, door to door campaigning at this point in time is therefore not considered essential or necessary activity.”
The letter unequivocally clarifies that physical campaigning at the moment is illegal – not just against the spirit of the law. Will that stop MPs ignoring their own rules?
Read Smiths’ letter in full below: