N. Ireland Politics

General election 2017: Northern Ireland campaigns resume

A tribute to the victims of the Manchester attack painted on a wall in the city Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Election campaigning was put on hold across the UK in the wake of the Manchester attack

It was a pause for respect and reflection, adhered to by all of the Northern Ireland parties.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, politics became unimportant after 22 people died in the Manchester concert attack.

General election events were called off and canvassing was put on hold, as thoughts of the victims came first.

Now, with two weeks to go until polling day on 8 June, the campaigns are slowly resuming, although the shadow of Monday's events hangs heavy.

Parties have said they'll be back out on the pavements, so you can expect knocks on the door and leaflets through the letterbox again.

Only Sinn Féin has released its manifesto so far, and planned launches for three parties were called off on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption The Green Party released its Brexit-focused manifesto at an event in Belfast

The SDLP was due to publish its election pledges on Tuesday, but that's been put back by a week.

So, too, the Ulster Unionists - the party's Thursday's manifesto release was delayed and will instead take place on the same day next week.

And the Northern Ireland Conservatives had intended to unveil their paper on Wednesday but that didn't go ahead, although no new date has yet been set.

But the Green Party went ahead with its policy document publication with an event in Belfast on Thursday.

Brexit was the dominant topic in leader Steven Agnew's speech as he called for a referendum on the final deal struck between the UK and the EU.


Prime-time debates put on hold

Image copyright Twitter

It wasn't just on the ground that the campaigns were set aside.

The first big debate between the Northern Ireland parties' leaders was due to be screened on UTV on Wednesday night.

But the broadcaster said that after consulting with the parties it would be postponed until 5 June - that's the night before the BBC's leaders' debate and just three days before the election.

And the BBC's flagship debate programme Question Time had been due to come from Belfast on Thursday.

But the programme tweeted that it would be moved to Salford to "reflect on [the] atrocity in Manchester.


BBC News NI's Campaign Catch-up will keep you across the general election trail with a daily dose of the main stories, the minor ones and the lighter moments in the run up to polling day on Thursday 8 June.

Hear more on BBC Radio Ulster's Evening Extra at 17:40 each weekday.