Green Party accused of canvassing despite pause for Prince Philip's death

Headshots of Norwich Green Party Councillor Denise Carlo and Labour's Steve Morphew

Green Party Councillors have been accused of continuing to canvas for the upcoming election despite a pause from other parties - Credit: Archant

Green Party councillors and activists have been accused of continuing to canvass for the upcoming council elections - despite a pause from other major parties out of respect for the death of Prince Philip.  

Posts on social media appeared to show a Green Party member dropping off leaflets on Sunday, two days after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, while a Labour activist singled out Norwich councillor, Denise Carlo.  

Ms Carlo she had not been canvassing but admitted to delivering letters on Sunday.   

“I delivered some letters on Sunday - because of the pandemic we haven't have much opportunity to deliver letters,” she said.  

“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].”  

Cllr Denise Carlo. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Cllr Denise Carlo. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

Ms Carlo said 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.  

“The post office continued to deliver letters and there have been all sorts of things on over the weekend,” she said, pointing to the Grand National.  

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“People have been very mindful of the Queen’s sorrow and the Royal Family’s sorrow; it is terrible to lose a lifelong partner and we remember the lifelong service that Prince Philip gave.  

“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.”  

Steve Morphew, leader of the Labour group at Norfolk County Council. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Steve Morphew, leader of the Labour group at Norfolk County Council and councillor for Catton Grove - Credit: Denise Bradley

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.”  

Mr Morphew said Labour had gone to lengths to ensure volunteers observed the pause, and while some may have slipped through initially, they would not think of condoning the flouting of the pause.  

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 event.  

Ms Bogelein said the decision to pause canvassing was a party decision, not one made by parliament or the council.  

Adding: “We have had a meeting and we have an agreement that there will not be anything going on Saturday, for the funeral.”