THE General Election will go ahead as planned on June 8, despite the second terror attack to hit Britain during the campaign period, Prime Minister Theresa May has said.
Speaking in Downing Street after chairing a meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee, Mrs May confirmed that campaigning for the poll will resume on Monday.
National campaigning was suspended following the outrage by all major parties apart from Ukip, whose leader Paul Nuttall warned that stalling the democratic process could lead to more attacks.
The terror threat was not raised from its “severe” level at the Cobra meeting in response to Saturday night’s outrage, which saw seven killed and 48 injured as terrorists drove a van into pedestrians at London Bridge and then attacked passers-by with knives.
But Mrs May made clear she intends to take action on a range of levels in response to the recent spate of atrocities, also including the car and knife murders of four people at Westminster in March and the killing of 22 by suicide bomb at the Manchester Arena last month.
She signalled action to clamp down on hate preaching and the use of the internet to spread Islamist ideology, as well as measures to end tolerance of extremism and a review of the powers of police and security agencies.
Jail sentences for extremism-linked crime – including less serious offences – could be lengthened, said the Prime Minister.
“It is time to say ‘Enough is enough’,” said Mrs May. “Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values.
“But when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change.”
Mrs May said it was right for election campaigns to be suspended as a mark of respect to victims.
But she added: “Violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process, so those campaigns will resume in full tomorrow and the General Election will go ahead as planned on Thursday.
“As a country, our response must be as it has always been when we have been confronted by violence. We must come together, we must pull together, and united we will take on and defeat our enemies.”
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