Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer agreed to stop campaigning for the local elections next month until after the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Prime Minister was informed of the Duke’s death yesterday morning while working on Downing Street. He called the Labor leader to approve the suspension.
The Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly campaigns have also ceased, and Downing Street has all but blacked out government announcements. Parliament was recalled from the Easter break on Monday, one day earlier, so that the MPs can pay tribute to the Duke.
Government sources said only “material” announcements would be made, primarily related to the pandemic.
No10 said the next phase of the roadmap outside of the lockdown will take place as planned on Monday to allow stores, gyms, hairdressers and beauty salons to reopen.
Pubs and restaurants can also be reopened outdoors. The Prime Minister announced this week that he would visit a pub on Monday and “carefully but irreversibly lift a pint of beer to my lips” to mark the final stage on the roadmap. But No. 10 said last night that the trip would now be canceled.
Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer spoke this afternoon and agreed to suspend the campaign before the May elections
Ministers have been instructed to cancel media interviews in the coming days and will not appear on normal Sunday morning political shows.
High-level ministers were also given guidance on how to behave.
All ministerial announcements must be approved by No. 10. Cabinet ministers participating in public engagements were advised to wear dark clothes and male ministers were asked to wear black ties.
The instructions are part of Operation Forth Bridge’s plans for the Duke’s death.
Downing Street said burial arrangements were “a palace matter”. However, sources confirmed that this would fall under Covid regulations, which limit attendance to 30.
Mr Johnson will make a statement to MPs on Monday regarding the death of Prince Philip, paying tribute to his life. Sir Keir is expected to answer for the Labor Party.
Parliament will meet until 10 p.m., but sources say tributes could run until Tuesday when the time runs out.
The Prime Minister’s questions will take place on Wednesday as usual, but will likely also be dominated by the Duke’s death.
A man believed to be a member of the armed forces is noticed at Buckingham Palace after leaving a flower tribute
Buckingham Palace announced the death of Prince Philip shortly after noon today – and described the Queen’s “deep grief”.
The Labor Party said: “As a token of respect for the sad death of His Royal Highness the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the Labor Party suspended all campaigns today.”
Amanda Milling, co-chair of the Conservative Party, tweeted: “Given the sad news from Buckingham Palace, all campaigns have been suspended until further notice.”
Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey said: “As a token of respect for the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen and the Royal Family, the Liberal Democrats are suspending the national election campaign today.”
Scotland’s major political parties have ceased campaigning for the Holyrood election.
The SNP tweeted: “We have suspended our election campaign with immediate effect.”
Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said: “This is not the time for political campaigning. It is a time of national mourning.
“Out of respect for Prince Philip, Her Majesty the Queen and the entire royal family, we have now suspended our campaign until Monday.”
Cabinet met last night to pay tribute to Philip and MPs from all sides issued statements expressing condolences.
Former union leader Jeremy Corbyn came under fire after his first reaction to the Duke’s death was to tweet a message of “solidarity” with the socialists in Bolivia.
Mr. Corbyn, a lifelong Republican, later deleted the message and wrote a tribute: “Losing a loved one, as so many families have done in the past year, is always heartbreaking. My thoughts are with Prince Philip’s family and everyone who loved him. ‘
Some Labor MPs shared messages complaining that Monday’s Commons tribute to the Duke was “unbearable,” according to Guido Fawkes’ website.