Following Theresa May’s snap general election announcement just as Green World was going to print, Green Party Co-Leaders Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley wrote to the leaders of Labour and the Liberal Democrats urging them to unite to stop the Tories ‘wrecking Britain’. Lucas and Bartley are calling for a meeting between party leaders to discuss ways to prevent a Tory majority at the general election and deliver a fairer voting system.
In their letter to Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron, the Co-Leaders listed a ‘crumbling NHS’ and a ‘bleak future for young people’ as reasons for parties to work together. They also said that working together is key to stop Theresa May carrying through an ‘extreme’ Brexit inspired by the Tories, UKIP and the DUP.
The call from the Green Party comes after senior figures in Labour – Lisa Nandy, Clive Lewis and Jonathan Reynolds – called on their party to consider standing aside at the Richmond byelection last year. In that election the Green Party stood aside, helping a pro-Europe Liberal Democrat candidate who opposed Heathrow expansion defeat Tory Brexiteer Zac Goldsmith, who had triggered the byelection to show his opposition to the government decision to expand Heathrow.
The Green Party expects to stand in seats in ‘every corner of the UK’ in the general election on 8 June – but in keeping with recent decisions, party leaders are asking Farron and Corbyn to explore options for alliances in seats with a good chance of defeating the Conservatives.
The Co-Leaders will make further announcements in the coming weeks on their plans, but say that any agreement between parties must be made at a local level by ordinary members who share an interest in preventing the government enacting hard Brexit policies that would harm our environment, democracy and rights.
Commenting on the momentous decision ahead for the electorate, Caroline Lucas said: “Britain is at a crossroads – and this election will dictate the very future of our country. The Green Party will be standing on a unique policy platform – opposing the Tories’ Brexit and putting forward big ideas for a fairer economy and the protection of our environment. Our call for a meeting between party leaders isn’t about the Greens standing aside – it’s about giving people in this country the best possible chance of defeating the Conservatives and bringing in a truly democratic voting system.
“For the sake of our NHS, our welfare state and our environment we need progressive party leaders to ditch partisan politics just for a moment and think about how we can best stop the Tories from wrecking our country for generations to come.”
The Green Party is fundraising to make sure more Green MPs are returned in June. To contribute, go to: tinyurl.com/nyv5yyh