It’s all about Europe – UK Green news round up week 19
The Scottish Green Party’s European election campaign was given a boost this week. The Sunday Mail encouraged its readers to vote for the Greens. The Sunday Mail has one of the highest circulations of any Sunday newspaper in Scotland.
Co-convener of the Scottish Greens and the party’s lead candidate in the European election tweeted her gratitude for the endorsement:
The prominent endorsement will boost Chapman’s chances of becoming an MEP and comes after the party launched its manifesto for the forthcoming election. That manifesto centres resisting the far right, implementing a Green New Deal across Europe and stopping Scotland from leaving the European Union. The party’s platform has also set out other radical policies such as free public transport across Europe.
Green Party of England and Wales launch European election campaign
With less than two weeks to go until the UK takes part in the European elections, it wasn’t just the Scottish Greens setting out their stall for them. The Green Party of England and Wales launched its manifesto too.
The manifesto lays out three key pledges driving the campaign – fighting to remain in the European Union, fighting climate change, and overcoming the economic and political insecurity that the party believes led to the country voting leave in the 2016 referendum.
Speaking at the launch, the party’s co-leader Jonathan Bartley said:
Every Green MEP elected from our brilliant team of candidates will be a commanding voice calling for what this country needs now: a People’s Vote.
We need to go back to the people, to you, to get politics moving again.
We need more Green MEPs who will take real and meaningful action on what has caused Brexit.
Also speaking at the launch, Siân Berry said:
The Brexit project led by Nigel Farage has capitalised on the neglect of our communities and unleashed the darkest elements onto our nation, bringing them dangerously close to the mainstream.
The far-right are now a sickness in our politics. But the Greens, full of hope and with a vision of the future that has faith in people’s best instincts – we are the cure.
Throughout the week, Berry talked up the Greens’ momentum going into the elections. Most recently, she appeared on Sky’s Ridge on Sunday and described the party as “really excited” about the elections. She cited the Greens’ success in the recent local elections and its membership growth as evidence of the party’s strength:
“The explicitly remain parties are gaining as well.”
— Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) May 12, 2019
Molly Scott Cato slams Gina Miller’s tactical voting website
In other circles, political manoeuvring for the European elections is well underway as well. This week, the anti-Brexit campaigner with Lib Dem associations Gina Miller launched a website suggesting how remainers could use their vote tactically. Unsurprisingly, given Miller’s links, the website claims that voters would be best placed voting for the Liberal Democrats in every English constituency. This is despite the Lib Dems currently only having one MEP, whereas the Greens have three.
One of those MEPs is Molly Scott Cato, who hit out at the calls for voters to opt for the Lib Dems:
I’m the only sitting MEP in the South West who is for a Remain party
I’ve worked my socks off to resist Brexit
Yet all the tactical voting sites are telling you to vote for somebody else
— Molly Scott Cato MEP (@MollyMEP) May 9, 2019
Magid Magid makes clear his unique approach to politics is here to stay
One of the more high profile Green Party candidates in the European elections is the outgoing Lord Mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid. Magid is standing as the party’s lead candidate for Yorkshire and Humber. His rise to prominence has been buoyed by his unique approach to politics. And this week, he has made clear that that approach is here to stay.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Magid said:
I have been able to engage with different sorts of people, especially people who have become disillusioned with politics.
It will be in a completely different setting, but my approach is being bold in my views, speaking what I think, but also keeping up that same energy and hopefully on a bigger platform. My approach is going to be the same.
These comments come as his campaign has been picking up a pace. More than 50 Young Green volunteers have signed up to be campaign volunteers as part of “Team Magid”. He is currently embarking on a tour across the region, billed as “Tour de Magid”. And his slick and powerful campaign video has been watched by more than 300,000 people on Twitter:
Greens select candidate for Peterborough by-election
The Green Party has selected its candidate to fight the Peterborough by-election. The by-election is for a parliamentary seat and has been called after former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya was recalled from her seat following her conviction for perverting the course of justice.
Joseph Wells has been selected to fight the seat for the Greens. His nomination was confirmed at the 11th hour, after controversial plans for the Greens, Change UK and the Liberal Democrats to field anti-Brexit campaigner Femi Oluwole as a joint candidate fell through.
Wells is unlikely to poll well in the by-election, with the Greens having never received more than 3% of the vote in the seat.