Election campaign should not be halted by Prince Philip death says outgoing Senedd Member
Political campaigning for the Senedd elections should not be halted by the death of Prince Philip, according to an outgoing Plaid Cymru Senedd Member.
Senedd Member Bethan Sayed, who has represented South West Wales since 2007 but is not standing at the May 6 election, said that it was “sad” that Prince Philip had died but that it was important that the campaign continue.
There have been suggestions that the Senedd campaign could be paused for as much as a week, which would be a quarter of the time until polling day on May 6.
Plaid Cymru, the Welsh Conservatives and Welsh Labour have already paused their campaigns but there has been no suggestion yet of when the campaign might re-start.
“It’s sad when anyone dies. But suspending campaigning?” Bethan Sayed asked. “Did we suspend campaigning when people died from covid, and continue to do so?” she asked.
“No. Campaigning is democratic practice and should continue.”
The SNP, Labour, Tories, Liberal Democrats and Greens in Scotland have all also ceased national and local activity following Prince Philip’s death at the age of 99 at Windsor Castle today.
It is not the first time a Royal death has led to the suspension of a devolution poll in Wales. Campaigning was also suspended for a week following the death of Princess Diana on 31 August before the referendum to set up the Welsh Assembly on September 18, 1997.
The opposition leader at the time, William Hague, asked Tony Blair to delay the referenda in Wales and Scotland, but he declined.
“As a mark of respect following the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh, Plaid Cymru is suspending campaigning for the Senedd elections,” Plaid Cymru said earlier.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Prince Philip. Out of respect Welsh Labour will suspend campaigning,” Welsh Labour said.
“We have suspended our campaign with immediate effect,” the Welsh Conservatives said.
“In light of the sad news of the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Reform UK will be suspending campaigning for the rest of today,” Reform UK said.
Buckingham Palace announced earlier that Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, had died aged 99.
He had travelled from Windsor, where he has lived full-time since his retirement, to London for a brief hospital stay earlier this year. He ultimately spent a month at hospital before his release in March after heart surgery.