PCC candidate continued campaign despite “respectful pause” for Prince Philip

Festus Akinbusoye - Conservative Bedfordshire PCC Candidate 2021
Festus Akinbusoye - Conservative Bedfordshire PCC Candidate 2021

A prospective Police and Crime Commissioner has faced criticism for continuing his election campaign, despite an all-party agreement to pause campaigns following the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Festus Akinbusoye, the Conservative Party candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner election on 6 May, had five online adverts running as part of his campaign.

As a mark of respect, following the announcement of the death of Prince Philip on 9 April, all political parties agreed to a national pause on any political campaigning.

This included PCC elections, elections to the Scottish and Welsh parliaments and, where they’re taking place, local council elections.

Each of the other Bedfordshire PCC candidates ceased canvassing and publicising their campaign, however, Mr Akinbusoye’s Facebook adverts continued throughout.

When questioned by the Bedford Independent, Mr Akinbusoye said: “In line with the suspension of campaign activity as from the evening of Friday 9 April, no campaign post nor political messaging were shared during this period.

“However, sponsored ads which were already running prior to this announcement continued.”

When asked why he hadn’t paused his social media posts as a mark of respect from 9 – 13 April, Mr Akinbusoye said he had no further comment to make.

Festus Akinbusoye PCC candidate 2021 unpaused FB Ads
Festus Akinbusoye, Conservative Bedfordshire PCC Candidate, continued to run campaign ads despite there being an all-party nationwide pause following the death of Prince Philip

Conservative Party co-chair Amanda Milling previously called the pause “respectful”.

All parties have agreed to suspend campaigning again on 17 April (Saturday), the day of Prince Philip’s funeral.

The Bedford Independent also contacted Bedford Borough Council’s Conservative Group for comment but did not receive a reply.

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