Green anti-cuts rebels rewarded in Euro selection
Cllr Alex Phillips has been selected to the highly winnable number 2 slot on the party’s South-East list for the 2014 European Election behind current MEP Keith Taylor. The Goldsmid councillor was the only Green to vote against the Brighton and Hove budget, into which the Labour/Tory opposition coalition had inserted unnecessary cuts and an Eric Pickles-ordered Council Tax freeze.
Third spot on the list was won by Dr Derek Wall, the Windsor-based former principal speaker and face of Green Left, who was also opposed to the budget. Philips and Wall beat Brighton and Hove’s Executive Member for Finance, Jason Kitcat, into fourth place.
Cllr Phillips wrote on Bright Green last month about her decision to oppose the budget, saying:
My view is that voting for the amended budget was incorrect, both strategically and in principle. For me it was down to a question of ethics, integrity, consistency of message and bringing our membership with us. In voting for the amended budget, I do not believe we managed to do any of these things – something that could be electorally damaging to us in the future.
Commenting on the selection result, Cllr Phillips said:
Thanks to everyone who voted. I am honoured to be on a list of such high calibre, and very much looking forward to getting stuck into the campaign!
Dr Wall told bright Green he was “very pleased” with the result, and added:
The result was a vindication of Keith Taylor’s hard work on issues like fracking and Palestine. He is very active and committed and has proved a worth successor to Caroline Lucas. It’s also a strong result for Alex Phillips and a vindication of her position as the only Brighton councillor to vote against the cuts.
The list is strong and shows that in the South East we are in a strong position to challenge the European Union’s push for austerity.
A gain in the South-East will be high on the list of Green targets in 2014. At the last election, the party would have needed just 30,000 votes, or an extra 1.3%, to deprive the Liberal Democrats of their second seat in the region.
The full list is:
1. Keith Taylor MEP (South East)
2. Cllr Alexandra Phillips (Goldsmid, Brighton & Hove)
3. Derek Wall
4. Cllr Jason Kitcat (Regency, Brighton & Hove)
5. Miriam Kennet
6. Beatrix Campbell
7. Cllr Jonathan Essex (Redhill East, Reigate & Banstead)
8. Beverley Golden
9. Jonathan Kent
10. Andrea Claire-Smith
1st Reserve: Stuart Jeffrey
2nd Reserve: Cllr Ania Kitcat (Regency, Brighton & Hove)
3rd Reserve: Ray Cunningham