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The Times Red Box: Election campaign shows we’re fighting for the democracy that terrorists hate

The aim of the terrorists is to weaken our resolve and undermine our democratic values. These values are what they really hate. Daesh terrorists don't want young people to enjoy music, they detest our western values of equality, democracy and diversity and they hate our modern society.

It is for precisely these reasons that they target music venues and places of entertainment as they did in Paris in 2015 and as they have done in Manchester this week. These barbaric murders are a dreadful reminder of the ongoing terror threat we face.

At the same time they want us to bring in security measures that prevent people going about their lives in their own way and they wish to create a climate of division and fear in our country. Of course we must all do all we can to show respect for and grieve with those who have lost loved ones, but it is also important to maintain our democratic values.

The best answer to the threat from terrorists is not to give into them and not to change our way of life and democratic values. That is why normal election campaigning must be resumed as soon as possible. Local election activity such as leafleting took place in Ilford South yesterday, where I am standing for re-election, as a symbol that we value our democracy and we will not give in.

We must give reassurance to all and make efforts to return to normality. The national party election campaign will remain paused, but locally we must get back to work and continue to fight for the very democracy the terrorists want to undermine and overthrow.


Mike Gapes is the Labour party candidate for Ilford South

(This article was originally published in The Times Red Box on 25th May 2017:  https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/election-campaigning-shows-that-we-won-t-let-terrorists-beat-democracy-kwdfdspwt)

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