UK election campaigns in final stages

Hauwa Abubakar, UK

Campaigns to secure votes in the June 8 snap elections in the UK are now in their final stages.

Question and answer segments with party leaders and members of the public are being hosted on National Television, while campaign teams have continued to move from one town to another.

Voice of Nigeria reports that campaigns being on and off as a result of terrorist attacks in Manchester and London recently, reduced the momentum of party activities in the build up to an election that was never planned.

Many parties have used their campaigns to discuss their plans with regards to key issues of security, and the war against terror.

During a question and answer series, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Liberal Democrats leader, Tim Farron expressed their concerns over increased electronic surveillance of the public in a bid to check online breeding of extremists.

They opposed the Investigatory Powers Act, introduced in 2016, which critics tagged ‘snoopers charter’.

The Act gives intelligence agencies the power to collect large volumes of data from electronic devices.

While she welcomed any effort to ensure security, Sturgeon said efforts must also be made to ensure people’s freedom is not undermined because “that is what makes us who we are.”

Tim Farron who said the desire for something to be done was right, however argued that what was needed was more resources and not more surveillance.

On Sunday, Theresa May said after a security meeting following the London attack that killed seven that, more surveillance was needed to ensure the internet was not a breeding ground for extremists and a tool for terrorists.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (Labour party) also argued that cuts in Police numbers was also responsible for poor management of security adding there could be more cuts in the future under a Conservative party rule.

But former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson (Conservative Party) insisted the number of police officers remained high, and that more surveillance was needed.

Elections are expected to hold on Thursday.

Confidence Okwuchi