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Divided by politics, but united by freedom

Over the next month or so, in Newport and elsewhere, there will be local elections.

The campaigning will be tough, the debating will be hard, hopefully none of it will be personal.

There will be divisions exposed and arguments made in support or against one political party or another.


What struck me today as I watched MPs from different parties, and of different colour, creed and religion, speak with one voice in the aftermath of yesterday's atrocity in London was that our freedom to debate, to argue, to hold differing views and opinions is what makes our democracy and our nation truly great.

As Jo Cox so rightly said, we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

Remember that if you are campaigning over the next month. Remember that if you are on a doorstep attempting to persuade someone to lend you their vote.

Remember that when you vote.

We campaign, we protest, we debate, we vote because of our democracy not in spite of it.

We do these things because of what unites us - freedom - and not what divides us.

If the hate that caused yesterday's attack, yesterday's murders, inspires more hatred and less freedom then the terrorists really have won.

We should never be afraid to argue our case passionately and positively.

We should never be afraid of standing up for our beliefs and values.

We should never, ever, be afraid of people who want us to be afraid.

To everyone campaigning for votes over the next month, whatever your party, I say good luck .

Campaign on your policies and virtues, not the perceived faults of others.

And remember that, even in the division of a political campaign, we are united by our way of life.

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