London terror attacks: Calls to postpone General Election

Members of the Police with sniffer dogs work on London Bridge. Picture: AFP/Getty
Members of the Police with sniffer dogs work on London Bridge. Picture: AFP/Getty
Share this article
55
Have your say

Theresa May has faced calls to postpone the General Election planned for Thursday after a terror attack struck London less than a week before voters go to the polls.

READ MORE - London terror attacks: Three men shot dead after killing six

Campaigning has already been suspended as the Prime Minister returns to London to chair a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee.

However, London mayor Sadiq Khan was defiant, saying that democracy is one of the things the terrorists were trying to attack.

“They want to stop us voting on Thursday in the General Election and enjoying the democracy that we have,” he said. “We can’t allow them to do that.”

And the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said Britain could not “allow terrorists to derail the democratic process”.

Polling stations

With voters due to attend polling stations so soon after a trio of attacks in Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge hit the country, there are fears for the safety of voters and about the potential for terrorism to dominate an election that will decide the direction of the country as it moves towards Brexit.

The actress Anna Friel added her voice to the calls for the election to be delayed, using the hashtag #postponetheelection on Twitter, while a Change.org petition was started calling for the Prime Minister to “prioritise the safety of our country and its people”.

‘It’s not safe’

One person who responded to the petition, Emma Grove, wrote: “It’s not safe to hold an election at this time, and it will deliver skewed results that don’t reflect true political feeling.”

Hagan Lockyear wrote: “I don’t want to see people hurt any more, and I fear that on June 8th, our polling stations will be a target for those demonic creatures who try to strike fear into us.”

Campaigning was suspended by all parties for several days in the wake of the Manchester bombing last week and, if that was to be repeated after last night’s attack, Britain could see a situation in which none of the major parties can talk about their policy platform in the days running up to polling day.

Precedent

It is possible to postpone an election due to an emergency, with Tony Blair having delayed the 2001 election by a month because of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

Mr Blair had pencilled in an election for 3 May, the same day as local council polls, but had to push it back because of the difficult of campaigning while restrictions were in place to contain the animal disease.

READ MORE - London terror attacks: What we know so far