Chloe Smith and Antony Little, the two Norwich Conservative candidates at the General Election, have written today to all declared candidates in the city asking for their support in a clean campaign pledge. This follows the model of the clean campaign pledge signed by Chloe Smith and the Green Party candidate, Rupert Read, at last year's Norwich North by-election.
Chloe Smith comments: "The pledge, updated for this election, promotes honest and positive campaigning. Unfortunately, at the 2009 by-election, the Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates refused to sign it. I hope all Norwich candidates in the General Election will join me and Antony Little in signing it now."
Antony Little adds: "As this parliament comes to an end, the issue of honesty is very important to people we meet on the doorstep - but that honesty covers the way in which we campaign as well as expenses. People want us to be positive, set out our policies and not spend all our time making personal attacks and predicting who can or cannot win this election. Chloe and I are putting honesty and positive politcs at the heart of this campaign. "
We, the undersigned, pledge in the forthcoming General Election campaign:
· To show by our actions that politics need not be a dirty game, but can be a clean and positive activity, engaged in genuinely for the good of all.
· To tell the truth about what we stand for and have achieved, and about what others stand for and have achieved.
· To refrain from personal attacks.
· Not to mislead the public about who is doing well and about who is likely to win in this election.
· To make only honest and reasonable promises.
· To fight a clean, positive and honest campaign around the issues that concern the people of Norwich North.
· To be honest about public spending, and not to scaremonger in ways that may frighten the most vulnerable members of our society, such as children and elderly people.
· To take money only from organisations and individuals whose motives in giving us money we do not have reason to suspect, and who do not ask for influence over party policy in return.
· And to sign up to transparency on MPs' expenses.
We encourage voters:
· To expect from us decent and honest behaviour, as candidates and as their elected representatives.
· To ask Parties operating in this election whether they have signed up to the Pledge or not, and, if not, to encourage them to do so.
· And to help us enforce this Pledge, by reporting truthfully to us and to the media any apparent breaches of it.
UPDATE: Charles Clarke agrees to sign, Adrian Ramsay suggests a watered down version, no word from Simon Wright