Early parliamentary general election

Part of Early Parliamentary General Election Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:15 pm on 29th October 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Percy Andrew Percy Conservative, Brigg and Goole 6:15 pm, 29th October 2019

No, I will not give way any more.

I want to make a final point about the tone of the forthcoming general election campaign because it will be important. We have heard a lot of attacks on the Prime Minister in the last few days in the Chamber. An analysis out today said that the person who has been on the receiving end of the largest amount of bile and personal attacks is the Prime Minister. We will see more of that in the election campaign.

The 2017 general election campaign was the worst I have ever been involved in when it came to behaviour. I have fought eight election campaigns in my short life. As the Leader of the Opposition is here, I hope he will reflect on the words he uses in the campaign. What happened at the last election was in his name. My staff were spat at in his name and I was attacked in the street by people chanting his name at me on his behalf because of the divisive language he consistently used in the run-up to that election. I will take him at his word that in this election he will encourage his supporters and party members to engage in better behaviour. The 2017 election was, for many of us, an appalling campaign to go through, with abuse, threats, damage to property and damage to constituents’ property perpetrated, in some cases, in the name of the Leader of the Opposition. I hope the campaign in December is a more civil one on all sides. This is not a matter that one side owns. I hope we will all conduct ourselves somewhat better in the forthcoming election.

I will conclude, but I have to say that I will oppose the 9 December amendment. If we end up with 9 December so be it, but it is so much better if we stick to the tradition of always voting on a Thursday, which is something that constituents very clearly understand.