It seems as though the English evangelical alliance is determined to ensure that the London Mayoral elections on 7th May are given an exclusive focus, entirely at the cost of the nation wide Police and Crime Commission elections taking place on the same day. At the end of February the evangelical alliance published one of its e-news newsletters, explaining how they intended to provide a hustings event for the Mayoralty, inviting only the ‘main’ political parties. I wrote to the alliance requesting that they include a broader range of candidates, specifically because with the PCC elections on the same day, and the fact that 1/3 of the PCCs are Independents, that a hustings event which excluded any Independent candidates would potentially sway Christians from considering a vote for an Independent PCC, let alone one of the Independent Mayoral candidates. My email was ignored, or at least did not get a reply. Three weeks later the next email newsletter emerged and once again there was no reference to the PCC elections and the reference to the Mayoralty was exclusively about the main parties. This time I wrote to Dave Landrum and Steve Clifford in the hope that they might respond. Dave did respond acknowledging my email and pointing out that their position was no different to 2012 when I had discussed this with Dave face to face. The elections in 2012 did not take place on the same day as each other, and prior to the 2012 Mayoral election, it was not clear how well Siobhan Benita, the only Independent candidate would do in the contest. In fact she received double the votes of UKIP and almost as many as both the Greens and Lib Dems, even though both of these candidates were involved in the hustings that year. When the PCC elections took place the Independent candidates all did very well, with a third of the areas returning an Independent candidate.
Today the alliance have published their latest newsletter and once again there is a focus on the London Mayoral elections, elections to the devolved assemblies but not a single reference to the PCC elections. The evangelical alliance does have references on its website to PCC elections, but all of these references relate to the 2012 elections when I was one of the candidates. It seems as though the alliance has no real interest in the 2016 elections, even though they were signatories to the ‘show up’ campaign in May 2015 which was intended to encourage Christians to get involved in politics. What a shame that their focus is so London centric and limited to established Political Parties! There is still time for this to change, but it is clear that my emails alone are not sufficient to persuade them to act differently. Perhaps others will have more success?