Green Party councillors and activists have been accused of continuing their activities for the upcoming council elections, despite the pause of other major parties out of respect for the death of Prince Philip.
On Friday, April 9th, Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband for 73 years, passed away at the age of 99. He was buried on the 17th, at the same time as the political campaign for the Holyrood election, the Scottish parliament election. Out of respect for the Prince and the Royal family, most major parties ceased campaigning. Yet, the Green Party is being accused of not stopping to pay tribute to Prince Phillip.
The Scottish Parliament decided to resume on the afternoon of Monday, April 12th. Yet, posts on social media appeared to show a Green Party member, Norwich councillor, Denise Carlo, dropping leaflets on Sunday, two days after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.
Denise Carlo confirmed delivering letters in Easton and Southville on Sunday but denied continuing to canvas. She also said that on the day of Prince Philip’s death it would be disrespectful to have continued canvassing, but said over the weekend other activities had continued across the country.
In a tweet by Central Bristol Greens, they defended their decision by saying that, “Campaigning has not been suspended. Tories, Labour & Lib Dems have chosen to, Greens have not. As republicans, we are not in mourning, though our condolences go to his loved ones as they would to anyone who has lost someone.” The Bristol Green Party has since released a statement where it defended its decision to continue campaigning, saying they had received “a very positive response”.
“I delivered some letters on Sunday – because of the pandemic we haven’t had much opportunity to deliver letters,” said Denise. She continues: “We have had guidance from the party to say that is fine. We don’t have big banks of telephone canvassers and we can’t post leaflets [through the mail].”
Labour’s Norfolk County Council leader, Steve Morphew, did not single out any person or party but said: “We’ve received a number of complaints about less serious parties not following the campaigning pause and showing respect. That is disappointing.”
Denise Carlo added that “People have been very mindful but today people have been out shopping and buying drinks, so I don’t think delivering letters is a mark of disrespect. Hopefully, this is a respectful electoral run, I’m sorry that other parties feel they have to point the finger.” Norwich Green Party leader, Sandra Bogelein, said she was sorry if they had upset anyone, and Friday had been “quite hectic” with no one was prepared for the funeral.
Prince Philip had a long association with Scotland. During his younger years, he studied in the northeast area of Scotland, Moray, at Gordonstoun School. During his life, he also went on family trips to Balmoral in Aberdeenshire every summer.