Home   Kent   News   Article

Local Liberal Democrats accused of campaigning during mourning period after Duke of Edinburgh's death

More news, no ads


The election battle for control of Kent County Council has seen the parties trading blows not over manifesto pledges...but party leaflets.

The early skirmishes saw the Liberal Democrats hotly denying Conservative claims they ignored a moratorium on campaigning during the period of mourning for the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip.

Cllr Trudy Dean dismissed the complaints as a storm in a teacup
Cllr Trudy Dean dismissed the complaints as a storm in a teacup

The three main parties all signed a voluntary agreement to suspend their campaigns and canvassing out of respect for Prince Philip, which ends tonight.

But the Liberal Democrats have faced complaints of ignoring the agreement after leaflets sent out by the long-standing councillor for Malling Central Trudy Dean landed on doorsteps over the weekend.

She dismissed the complaints as a storm in a teacup. “Our understanding was the suspension of the campaign was allied to national activities; there was no agreement of any kind at a local level.”

Meanwhile, health campaigners have accused Conservative candidates of exploiting the controversial but as yet undetermined shake-up of east Kent’s hospitals.

Campaign group SONiK (Save Our National Health Service in Kent) has urged all candidates in east Kent to sign a pledge “to do all in their power to stop closures of A&E, stroke and maternity care in east Kent NHS hospitals.”

Cllr Paul Bartlett
Cllr Paul Bartlett

It criticised Conservative candidates in Ashford over election leaflets which state they will “ensure the [William Harvey] A&E stays open and does not move to Canterbury.”

But Paul Bartlett, Conservative candidate for Ashford Central was unapologetic and said the party would continue to campaign for the retention of the William Harvey Hospital as a full Accident and Emergency centre.

“All Conservative candidates for the election this year are fully behind the William Harvey hospital, the jewel in Ashford's crown, and we will do everything possible with Damian Green and the borough council to ensure it remains open.”

There will be another pause in campaigning on Saturday, when the funeral of Prince Philip takes place.

Read everything you need to know about the Kent County Council elections this May.

Head to our politics page for expert analysis and all the latest news from your politicians and councils.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More