Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Peter Chowney (Labour) and Julia Hilton (Green)

A wholesome alliance: Peter Chowney (Labour) and Julia Hilton (Green)

Hastings Green Party forms alliance with Labour to unseat Amber Rudd

The Labour Party candidate for Hastings & Rye has accepted an offer from Hastings and Rye Green Party (HRGP) not to stand a candidate in the general election in return for various pledges, with the aim of unseating Amber Rudd. Peter Chowney has agreed, amongst other pledges, that if elected he will support proposals for electoral reform and will oppose new runways at Heathrow or Gatwick. HOT’s Erica Smith shares the news.

Hastings and Rye Green Party cite a number of issues on which they feel Amber Rudd has made decisions against the interests of the people of Hastings and wider society. Since her election in 2010, she has voted consistently to cut welfare benefits, including housing benefit, disability benefits and tax credits for the poorest. At the same time, she has voted for reducing corporation tax and opposed tax increases for the richest. She has voted to raise tuition fees and to cut support for low income 16-19 year olds in education or training. As Climate Change Secretary, Amber Rudd was responsible for huge cuts in subsidies for renewables, which her own figures showed could lead to 18,700 job losses. In addition, she is completely opposed to proportional representation, which would give all parties fair representation in Parliament.

Last week, HRGP Secretary Julia Hilton was selected as the Green Party candidate for the general election. Julia Hilton stood for the Green Party in Old Town and Tressell in the recent county council elections, receiving almost 11% of the vote. However, at the same time, HRGP decided that if the Labour Party agreed to certain conditions, they would not submit Julia’s nomination.

The conditions agreed to by Hastings and Rye Labour Party are that their candidate, Peter Chowney, if elected to Parliament, would:

  • Support proposals for proportional representation for all elections in the UK, including voting in favour of any bills brought to parliament proposing electoral reform;
  • Support the Hastings and Rye fishing industry by campaigning to reallocate the UK’s fishing quotas in favour of boats of less than 10 metres, thus supporting sustainable fishing in our waters;
  • Oppose fracking and support the development of a low carbon economy;
  • Oppose any new runways at Heathrow or Gatwick.

HRGP also required Peter Chowney to agree that, if elected, he would continue to support these policies in parliament, regardless of any future change in Labour leadership or policy. A full statement can be read here.

Peter Chowney said, “I welcome the decision of Hastings Green Party not to stand a candidate in the upcoming general election. The country cannot afford another five years of Tory government, and progressive parties need to work together to ensure that doesn’t happen. Amber Rudd has consistently supported policies which go against the interests of the majority of people in Hastings and we need to do everything we can to make sure she loses her seat.”

Julia Hilton said, “The Green Party in Hastings has seen some encouraging results in local elections, and we have no intention of standing down in future elections. However, we believe that this election represents a cynical attempt at a power grab and that progressive parties need to unite to oppose another five years of Tory government. Whilst we are disappointed that the Labour Party nationally has refused to take part in discussions on a progressive alliance, we are happy that locally we were able to reach an agreement with the Labour Party with the aim of getting rid of Amber Rudd. Over the past seven years the Tories have impoverished millions of people, targeting people with disabilities for particularly swingeing cuts, whilst cutting taxes for the richest. They have brought the NHS and state schools to their knees, and ignored the urgent need to take action on climate change. The hard Brexit they are planning will lead to more cuts, more austerity, more pain inflicted on the most vulnerable in our society. In these circumstances, we decided that we had a responsibility to unite with other parties to oppose the catastrophe of another Tory government.”

It must be noted that whilst the Green Party has formed an alliance in Hastings & Rye, 20-year old Solomon Curtis, a son of St Leonards-on-Sea is standing against Caroline Lucas in Pavilion Ward in Brighton. Watch this space – HOT will be interviewing Solomon soon.

A week is a  long time in politics – it was only 4 days ago that HOT shared the news that Julia Hilton had been selected to stand for the Greens in the general election. Read more here.

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Posted 17:25 Thursday, May 11, 2017 In: Election 2017


Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. Mark Sewell

    I was just about to sign up to the Green Party but I will not vote for a Labour candidate (nor a Conservative one since the Brexit fiasco began to unfold) Just 12 years to go until global warming apparently runs out of control, I need an MP who will shout and rage about issues that impact on my families survival!!!

    Comment by Mark Sewell — Saturday, Mar 16, 2019 @ 14:49

  2. peter

    You want to unseat Rudd this is what you do.

    Comment by peter — Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 20:08

  3. Michael Mulkerrin

    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear – So I still live in Mugsborough. The vote I was hoping to offer to a candidate with principals and values that I share is now supposed to go to Peter Chowney – I don’t think so.

    Comment by Michael Mulkerrin — Wednesday, May 17, 2017 @ 22:16

  4. Spiny Norman

    Lib Dem candidate statement on a progressive alliance:

    The local party has successfully submitted nomination papers on Tuesday.
    As there has been talk, in recent days, of a Hastings & Rye progressive alliance, I make the following statement as the Liberal Democrat candidate for MP:

    ‘I confirm that over the past week I have had talks with James Corre at Compass. I have been clear that with the imperative of reducing the impending Tory landslide at Westminster, joined-up actions are required across East Sussex.

    ‘I have been clear that if Labour Party candidates in Eastbourne and Lewes are prepared to make public their commitment to divert resource elsewhere, and not to impede Liberal Democrat victories in these seats, then I am willing to make a similar commitment here.

    ‘There was a request made via Compass to be able to take these draft statements to my local party this evening, but nothing has been made available by Labour. Therefore the Liberal Democrats will continue to represent those opposed to Brexit in Hastings & Rye; those who want more investment in our NHS; those opposed to schools cuts across our constituency.’

    Looks like Labour wouldn’t play ball so three Conservatives now have a much better chance of keeping their seats in East Sussex.

    Comment by Spiny Norman — Sunday, May 14, 2017 @ 09:41

  5. Ms.Doubtfire

    Well well – I have seen and heard it all now. The Green Party cosying up to Mr. Chowney – their former arch enemy.

    This is very difficult to stomach considering the local Green party’s vehement opposition to everything connected to Sea Change/Sea Space and the devastation of the ecological worth when these roads were built. The loss of Hollington Valley so shocking that the Green Party’s member took this as far as a Judicial Review! One could spend all day listing the environmental disasters in this town, opposed by so many including the Green party.
    This will lose the Greens many members who are likely to be shocked to hear of this decision.
    And now we learn that Labour candidate Solomon Curtis is going to oppose the Green MP Caroline Lucas – you could not make this up or fathom it out.

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Friday, May 12, 2017 @ 18:02

  6. richard heritage

    I have to say this announcement was quite a shock and what I perceive as a bizarre scheme of things. Who exactly came up with this weird idea.
    Here we have a party who rides on the concern of the environment now in an alliance with a Labour councillor who has been instrumental in the building of two roads – the loss of acres of green space, trees and wildlife – for what TRAFFIC and pollution. Sea Space and Sea Change. This party during its reign of power in this borough has shown virtually no empathy at all for the environment. Planning permissions without concern for the environment.
    Environmental disasters such as the landslide in Ecclesbourne Glen seems to have been now ignored and just a pain for the council. And Undercliff ignored for years now just a concrete skeleton.
    Even if this councillor did make it to Westminster how on earth is he going to do any good up against the predicted Conservative majority.

    No doubt someone out there can tell me I have got it all wrong

    Comment by richard heritage — Friday, May 12, 2017 @ 16:44

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