Deaf campaigner to be Green candidate for Oldham West and Royton by-election
Simeon Hart will stand for the Green Party in the upcoming by-election in Oldham West and Royton, the seat vacated following the death of Michael Meecher. This by-election is to take place on Thursday, 3 December.
Hart, who has been selected to stand by the local party, was the only deaf British Sign Language (BSL) user to stand as a parliamentary candidate in the May 2015 General Election.
Welcoming the selection, Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, said:
“I am absolutely delighted Simeon’s local party has selected him – as they did earlier in the year. Simeon is a groundbreaker who has proven himself to be a passionate and talented campaigner and activist on disabled rights.
“The people of Oldham West and Royton understand that the current Westminster political system is no longer able to deliver the real change people and planet so desperately need. In Simeon they have a candidate committed to improving education, taking back our health service and securing a safe climate for our children and grandchildren.”
Natalie, who alongside other leading Greens will visit Oldham in the coming weeks, added:
“The Green Party is proud of our record of standing up for migrants. Greens never engage in scapegoating. We will never blame migrants for failures of government policy, or the greed and fraud of the bankers.”
“I am honoured to once again represent my party and am thankful to the Green Party, in this constituency, for putting their faith and confidence in me. I look forward to sharing Green Party values and policies with the people within this constituency.
“Despite the government’s claims of economic recovery, life has been made harder for the majority of us. People need the tools to build strong local economies. Only by giving freedom to cooperatives and small businesses can we create a new, creative economy.”
Simeon, who set up the Deaf Green Party, has campaigned for there to be greater support for employers and disabled people to bring access to education and employment to a greater number of disabled people. He backs calls for BSL (England and Wales) to be given legal recognition as has already been seen with the BSL (Scotland) Act—which was passed in September 2014, following the acknowledgement of BSL as a language in March 2003.
Simeon is a campaigner who happens to be deaf, not a deaf campaigner.