Delay to the election announcement

#1
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4406453.stm
Blair to delay calling election

Tony Blair's plans have been put into 'mild disarray'
Tony Blair has decided to delay naming the date for the general election for 24 hours because of the Pope's death.
The prime minister had been expected to ask the Queen on Monday to dissolve Parliament ready for a 5 May poll.

But BBC political editor Andrew Marr said Mr Blair has told aides he no longer thinks the timing of the news would be appropriate.

Instead, Downing Street says Mr Blair will attend vespers at Westminster Cathedral in memory of John Paul II.

He will also lead tributes to former Labour premier James Callaghan in Parliament.

All the main political parties have suspended national public campaigning for Sunday and Monday as a mark of respect for the Pope.

'Mild disarray'

Cabinet ministers and Labour organisers had been preparing for an announcement on Monday following a planned visit to Buckingham Palace at 1000 BST.

Mr Blair is now expected to announce the election campaign on Tuesday morning.

He is also likely to attend the Pope's funeral in Rome towards the end of the week.

LIKELY TIMETABLE
Monday: Vespers service in memory of the Pope and Parliament's tributes to James Callaghan
Tuesday: Prime minister expected to ask Queen to dissolve Parliament and announce a 5 May poll
Wednesday: Last prime minister's questions
Thursday: Possible last day when Parliament sits
Friday: Royal wedding
Monday: Parliament formally dissolved


Andrew Marr said Labour's plans had been thrown into "mild disarray".

In a statement, Downing Street said: "The prime minister will be attending vespers at Westminster Cathedral tomorrow afternoon at 4.30pm.

"In response to speculation we can confirm that he will not be going to Buckingham Palace tomorrow."

Lost legislation?

Monday 11 April is the deadline for dissolving Parliament for a 5 May poll.

If the election is called next week the government will rush to get its remaining legislation through Parliament.

MPs and peers are likely to stop sitting on Thursday, with Parliament formally dissolved the following Monday.

That schedule would leave Friday clear for the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.

Ahead of a hectic parliamentary week, Home Secretary Charles Clarke has already admitted controversial plans for identity cards and a new offence of incitement to religious hatred could be dropped.

It is not the first time Mr Blair has needed to change his election timetable. In 2001, he postponed the election because of the foot-and-mouth epidemic.
 
#3
It's plausible enough. If I remember rightly both he and his wife are RCs so attending vespers makes sense. It'll also garner him a little support from the RC vote, but that's just me being cynical.

If he wants the 5th of May as election day, then Parliament has to shut down by the 11th. Neither house ever sits during a weekend and this Friday is off thanks to Chazza's wedding. Monday is shot thanks to Vespers and Callaghan, so that leaves Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for serious lawmaking. The record for getting a bill through Parliament is three days, even with what amounts to out-and-out fraud, so NA is going to have to drop anything remotely contentious or risk it running out of time.
 
#4
Sorry to correct you, Juvenal, but while the Wide-Mouthed Frog is indeed of the Timmite persuasion, Bliar himself is not. Full marks to Old Joe the Pole for screwing up the best-laid plans of mice and men by exquisite timing in shuffling off his mortal coil. :lol:
 
#5
Bliar clearly feels that, rather than making an announcement he has not made yet, it is better to delay the announcement he has not yet made and to leak this decision to sympathetic media ears.

It will be business as usual after the funeral, and some bright sparks are probably working out what unpopular announcements can be "buried" in the meantime.
 
#6
Dear friend!

This date 5 May was know long ago. I refer you to this article in Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/02/11/nelec11.xml

'May 5: election date is revealed in parliament (the Russian parliament, that is)'

By Julius Strauss in Moscow and Andrew Sparrow in London

(Filed: 11/02/2005)

Quote:

//Konstantin Kosachyov, the chairman of the Moscow state duma foreign affairs committee, let slip the date, which has been widely rumoured, in comments reported by the Russian news agency Interfax yesterday.

He said the Prime Minister's office had cited the date as the reason Mr Blair could not attend a ceremony in Moscow on May 9 to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. "British Prime Minister Tony Blair said there will be elections in his country on May 5 [so his inability to attend] is understandable," he said.//
 
#7
Report in today's Guardian on the implications of the delay in the expected election announcement. I see no likelihood of the election date itself being changed in present circumstances. 30 more days to go.

Blair postpones election announcement as a sign of respect

Patrick Wintour, chief political correspondent
Monday April 4, 2005
The Guardian

Tony Blair yesterday responded to the death of Pope John Paul II by deferring for 24 hours his weeks-old plan to call a general election this morning.

His decision will not change the election date of May 5, but it forces all three campaign headquarters to scramble to reschedule their launch plans.

It also increases the risk that the government will lose more than half of this year's legislative programme in a desperate bartering session with Tory peers originally scheduled to end on Thursday.

In an attempt to save as many bills as possible, the government may even keep parliament sitting until next Monday, the last possible date for the formal dissolution for a general election on May 5.

Labour had not planned to launch its manifesto until April 12.

The decision to postpone was taken yesterday morning by Mr Blair.

There was a strong mood at Labour campaign headquarters that it did not "feel right" to launch what is being billed as an optimistic but strongly party political message as Britain's 5 million Catholics and the Pope's many other admirers were still reflecting on his life and loss.

Formal political campaigning had already been suspended yesterday as a mark of respect, including plans by the chancellor, Gordon Brown, to make a speech committing Labour to raise education spending in every year of a third term government.

Mr Blair and other political leaders will attend ecumenical vespers at Westminster Cathedral this afternoon. He was already scheduled to deliver a Commons appreciation on the death of Lord Callaghan, the last Labour prime minister, who died last week.

Charles Kennedy, the Liberal Democrat leader, shelved his plans for a three-day national tour and the Conservatives ditched a proposed press conference on health.

It is not known if Mr Blair will fly to the Vatican for the funeral, or what he will do if it clashes with Prince Charles' wedding on Friday.

...

The delay in calling the election means parliament will spend the first two days this week on previously scheduled business, leaving only Wednesday, Thursday and possibly next Monday to rush legislation on to the statute book.

With the opposition parties in the majority in the Lords, the government will today begin private horsetrading over bills close to completion, including the serious crime bill, the gambling bill, the clean neighbourhoods bill, the drugs bill, the railways bill, the finance bill, the charities bill and the school transport bill.

Ministers are likely to lose the consumer credit and road safety bills, as well as plans for a new offence of religous discrimination. Another dozen tabled bills, including the identity card bill, are already doomed due to lack of scrutiny.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#9
claymore said:
Sorry to correct you, Juvenal, but while the Wide-Mouthed Frog is indeed of the Timmite persuasion, Bliar himself is not. Full marks to Old Joe the Pole for screwing up the best-laid plans of mice and men by exquisite timing in shuffling off his mortal coil. :lol:
Greatsword, I think I'm correct in saying that Roman Catholics are not permitted to become Prime Minister, and that Bliar has claimed not to be one.
But going by his record of telling the whole unadulterated truth, do you believe him ?
 
#11
Cutaway said:
Greatsword, I think I'm correct in saying that Roman Catholics are not permitted to become Prime Minister, and that Bliar has claimed not to be one.
But going by his record of telling the whole unadulterated truth, do you believe him ?
Actually, RCs are allowed to be PM and have been for a while (since 1829 at least). The catch is that if one becomes Prime Minister then he or she is locked out of selecting bishops and the role goes to the Archbishop of Canterbury instead. Ditto Jews but oddly nobody else. It is entirely possible (if somewhat unlikely) for a Satanist to play a major role in selecting the next Archbishop of Canterbury.
 
#12
Perhaps the election announcement is also being delayed until the date of the wedding can be established. My earlier cynical sentiments still stand!
 
#13
[quote="CutawayBut going by his record of telling the whole unadulterated truth, do you believe him ?[/quote]

Of course I believe The Great Leader. He told me my SA80 was a superb piece of military engineering, that my unit had enough body-armour two years ago, and that Saddam had WMD. What's not to believe? 8)
 

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