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Lib Dem candidate Nick Perry at the People's Vote march in London last Saturday. A contingent of Hastings Greens also participated.

Lib Dem candidate Nick Perry at the People’s Vote march in London last Saturday. A contingent of Hastings Greens also participated.

Liberal Democrats and Greens move into campaigning mode

As a frustrated prime minister Boris Johnson threatens to force a general election, local parties are moving into campaigning mode. The Liberal Democrats have circulated a flyer and upped the publicity over their anti Brexit stance, while the Green Party, which has its eye on next May’s local elections rather than the forthcoming general election, are bringing their local MEP to town next week. Nick Terdre reports.

The Liberal Democrats’ flyer which has popped through letterboxes around town in recent days only mentions the general election twice but has clearly been written to boost the party’s chances when it eventually takes place.

In full colour it reports a recent poll by local psephologists Coastal Action which shows that the Lib Dems’ Nick Perry “is clearly viewed as the lead candidate for Remainers in Hastings & Rye,” with some 40% support compared with around 25% for Labour’s Peter Chowney and about 15% for the Greens’ Julia Hilton.

As the Greens have subsequently decided not to contest the general election, the interesting question arises as to where their votes will be redistributed to.

“The doorstep message is that voters are switching from Johnson’s new-style hard-right Conservative Party and from [Jeremy] Corbyn’s old-style hard-left Labour Party and its lack of clarity on Brexit – the biggest issue facing our country since 1945,” the Lib Dems say.

According to the flyer, the party decided at its conference in September to continue  campaigning for a People’s Vote on Brexit, but agreed that if a general election came  first, they would campaign for a “People’s Mandate to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit altogether.”

The flyer also highlights their commitment to tackling the climate crisis, and details plans approved at the conference to make the UK economy carbon-neutral by 2045, including reviving the Green Investment Bank introduced by the Tory/Lib Dem coalition but later sold off by the Tories, banning fracking and stopping future airport expansion.

Green MEP Alex Phillips.

Hastings’ Green MEP, Alex Phillips.

Green MEP in town

Meanwhile Green Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the South East, Alexandra Phillips, will be visiting Hastings for a meet-and-greet next Tuesday, 29 October, as part of a tour of the constituency. She says she wants to meet with local green enterprises, and learn about what initiatives are out there and what needs to be done to implement a Green New Deal.

The Green New Deal would “see us make huge strides towards achieving crucial environmental carbon-neutral targets, as well as revitalising the economy, industry, and training prospects for workers of all ages,” the Greens say.

“A Green New Deal is all about giving power back to communities – enabling them to choose how funding is spent and investing in local projects. The EU referendum made clear that huge swathes of the British public don’t feel in control of their own futures and don’t feel listened to in Westminster; Alex believes that a Green New Deal would force politicians to put power back to the people.”

She will also be happy to talk about what she and her six fellow Green MEPs are doing in Brussels.

Phillips will be travelling in the party’s fully electric green bus which will park near to the Odeon cinema in the town centre where she will be available for a chat or to give interviews between 10am and noon.

Local Greens have decided not to stand a candidate in the general election, or to endorse any other candidate or party, but to concentrate their efforts on winning a seat in next May’s local elections.

Alex Phillips poses with a colleague in front of the Green's electric bus (photo: Green Party).

Alex Phillips poses with a colleague in front of the party’s green bus (photo: Green Party).


Posted 19:06 Thursday, Oct 24, 2019 In: Politics

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