Local Government Association calls for respect during local elections

Politics / Sat 27th Apr 2024 at 08:13am

THE LGA has joined forces with the Electoral Commission and the Jo Cox Foundation to call for no abuse towards candidates at the 2 May local elections.

The call comes amid concern about the growing levels of abuse and intimidation aimed at local councillors, which can become heightened during election campaigns.

Recent LGA research found that three-quarters of councillors in England and Wales experienced some form of intimidation or abuse during the 2023 local election campaign.

Although the majority of abuse is low level, a growing number of councillors have experienced more severe abuse, including stalking and threats of violence, some of which has resulted in criminal prosecutions.

Encourage healthy debate
Councillor Marianne Overton, Chair of the LGA’s Civility in Public Life Steering Group said:

“It’s really important that everyone participating in these local elections is treated with respect and we do not see instances of abuse and intimidation.

“We must do all we can to stamp out abuse from public life and encourage healthy debate if we are to safeguard the future of our local democracy.”

No place for abuse or intimidation
Louise Edwards, Director of Regulation and Digital Transformation at the Electoral Commission said:

“The safety and security of candidates and elected representatives is of paramount importance, and it should go without saying that there is no place in a democracy for abuse or intimidation of those who participate in elections.

“We will be working with parties and campaigners ahead of the elections to understand their experience and to discuss the standards of behaviour that all candidates should be able to expect.”

Threat to democracy
Su Moore, Chief Executive Officer of the Jo Cox Foundation said:

“Abuse and intimidation of elected politicians is a threat to democracy in this country.

“The Jo Cox Civility Commission call to action, published earlier this year, has a clear set of recommendations that, if implemented, can make a genuine impact on this serious issue at a national and local level.”

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1 Comment for Local Government Association calls for respect during local elections:

David Forman
2024-04-28 02:52:03

The Labour leaflet deliverer who came to my door got a piece of my mind, especially about Labour's silence on the ongoing slaughter in Gaza. I was a member of Harlow Labour Party back in 2018 and remember them waxing lyrical about the Palestinian cause. Now contrast that with their cowardly approach as they now watch a genocide unfold in front of their eyes. Labour want to be snide, but not expect anyone to call them out on it which makes them a bunch of cowardly chancers.

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