After the horrific terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena on Monday campaigning for the general election resumed in a low key way locally this afternoon.
Yesterday evening I joined the Vigil at Whitehead Gardens in front of Bury Town Hall. There was a huge turnout. It was a somber and moving occasion. Civic and faith leaders led the service. The grieving mother of murdered local schoolgirl Olivia Campbell, a pupil at Tottington High School made an impassioned speech. We must never let these murderous terrorists divide our society.
Terrible terrible news of the horrific explosion at the Manchester Arena last night. My thoughts and prayers are for all those who had their lives cut short and for all their families and friends who will be mourning their loss. Let us also remember all those who are suffering from injuries and for all those who are caring for them.
I am always conscious that even in the midst of a general election campaign what unites us all is much greater than the politics which divides us. This news puts everything into perspective.
Yesterday the Prime Minister launched the Conservative manifesto for the election on June 8th.
You can read it in full here:
I am often asked ‘ How is it going?’ in relation to the campaign the truth is no one ever really knows. I am never keen on generalising about what people think. The reality is that when you canvass lots of different people you get all sorts of responses ranging from the genuinely enthusiastic to the quiet approval to the politely against to the slightly abusive! People raise all manner of issues often things which are personal to them.
The polling stations are now open to elect the first ever elected Mayor for Greater Manchester. The Conservative Candidate is Sean Anstee the Leader of Trafford Council. You can read more about Sean here at www.seananstee.com
Because a different voting system is being used to elect the Mayor voters can express both a first preference and a second preference. Lots of people have said that they only want to vote Conservative and what should they do with the second vote. The answer is that you need not use your second vote if you do not want to.
The polling stations are open until 10pm this evening.
I was delighted to have been re-adopted as the Conservative Candidate by the Bury North Conservatives on Sunday and the campaign has now begun in earnest this week.
As I wrote when the election was called I do not intend to update every day during the campaign because every day follows a pretty similar pattern. Get up, campaign, eat, sleep, Repeat.
Parliament is officially dissolved today so there are no more Members of Parliament and I have been busy taking off any references to me being a Member of Parliament off this website and other sites.
Rather unusually Bury Conservatives because it is a snap election Bury Conservatives will be holding their special meeting today. I will be seeking adoption as their Candidate for the election on June 8th. All across the Country there has been a flurry of adoption and selection meetings as constituency associations rush to secure a candidate. A candidate will also be selected to contest Bury South.
When I returned on Thursday I attended the preview evening of the Bury Art Festival which is organised in aid of Bury Hospice. It is always well worth a visit and this year is no exception. On Friday I had my last day of surgery appointments and casework in the Parliament.