Leaflet leads to anger after terror attack

The leaflet at the centre of the row
The leaflet at the centre of the row
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Picture: Malcolm Wells

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THERE’S been an angry reaction after an election leaflet was distributed, despite a suspension of national campaigning for the General Election in light of the attack on Manchester Arena.

Peter Hobbins, who lives in Gosport, said he was ‘gobsmacked’ after a campaign leaflet from the Liberal Democrats’ Gosport candidate Bruce Tennent was placed through his door yesterday.

In light of the horrific terrorist attack on Monday night which claimed the lives of 22 people, the Lib Dems, Conservatives, Labour, Ukip and Green parties suspended national campaigning until tomorrow.

However, the situation is ambiguous at a local level as some candidates began door-to-door canvassing yesterday in other parts of the country such as in Ilford, east London.

Mr Tennent said that Gosport Liberal Democrats were not due to be canvassing yesterday and that their campaign leaflets – which are being distributed by the Royal Mail – should have all have been delivered by last Friday.

Mr Hobbins said: ‘I could not believe it when I saw it. I was really shocked.

‘I am still gobsmacked by it and find it totally unacceptable. It’s left me lost for words.

‘To shove this through my door at this time of national mourning is an affront to our democracy.

‘How could the Lib Dems be so incredibly insensitive and ignorant?’

Mr Tennent told The News: ‘I am not aware of any distribution of leaflets by Liberal Democrats campaigning in Gosport today.

‘All our literature should have been distributed by Royal Mail by last Friday.

‘We were told yesterday not to canvas today and we do not know when we will be resuming campaigning at this stage.

‘It must have been a mistake by Royal Mail.’

A spokeswoman for the Royal Mail said: ‘Royal Mail employees like everyone else in the UK, were horrified by the events in Manchester.

‘Our thoughts are with all those affected. Due to the long lead time required for election mailings, some are already in our network and will be delivered to the original agreed schedule. We are working closely with the political parties.’