In a letter sent to all candidates standing in this May's elections and those being selected for future elections, Conservative Party Chairman Brandon Lewis MP has set out the standards he expects from those representing the Conservative Party. He reminds candidates of the the Code of Conduct and asks them to refrain from attacks on other candidates either on social media or leaflets.
The Conservatives have traditionally concentrated on their own positive message but in an era of social media it can be easy to be drawn into exchanges that focus on people and not policies. The Conservative Party's Respect Pledge is a commitment to keep positive and 'campaign hard but campaign fair'.
Brandon Lewis' Letter
Conservative Party Respect Pledge
At the CCA Local Government Conference on Saturday, I unveiled the Conservative Party’s Respect Pledge. The Pledge will apply to all Conservative Candidates standing in the local elections this year, ensuring they behave responsibly throughout the election.
All candidates will pledge:
- To refrain from making abusive or offensive attacks on other candidates in written literature, on social media or verbally;
- To encourage our supporters to campaign on social media in a respectful manner, and to condemn supporters who engage in intimidatory behaviour;
- To abide by the Code of Conduct for Conservative Party Representatives as published under the authority of the Party Board.
A healthy democracy thrives on robust debate and political parties challenging each other. However, the abuse and intimidation we have seen enter our politics in recent times, particularly online, should have no place in our public life.
I want to be clear. Conservative candidates who are alleged to have broken the Respect Pledge will be investigated and subject to disciplinary action, which could include suspension or expulsion.
These are tough elections this year. We need to make sure that we campaign hard, but campaign fair. I know that all of you, along with our fantastic activists and candidates, will ensure that we spread our positive record in local government, so that Conservatives are elected right across the Country.
THE RT. HON BRANDON LEWIS MP
Chairman of the Conservative Party