The Green Party will not after all field a candidate in Harrogate and Knaresborough in the upcoming General Election as part of a series of electoral arrangements with the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru.
Shan Oakes is stepping aside to ensure that the Remain vote on 12 December is unified and that a Tory candidate is not successful in the constituency.
Shan said: “ We are very sad to be stepping aside when we know there will be many many people here wanting to vote Green. However, we believe Brexit would be so deeply damaging that we want the People to have a vote, now we all know more facts. Greens are willing to work with other parties for the common good and our Party feels that in the current circumstances, in the hugely unfair context of the ‘first past the post’ voting system, this is the right thing to do for local people. Residents have got a choice now between a Remain candidate and a series of leave or unclear politicians and they can make a decision between those options.
I would encourage people to find their nearest Green candidate and support their campaign - see our events page for Skipton & Ripon and Selby & Ainsty campaigning events (you can also search via the GP website greenparty.org.uk)”
Following the conference motion passed last month, the Green Party has been in discussions with other parties about the possibility of electoral arrangements. One approach was made by the organisation Unite to Remain (UTR), who have helped facilitate a conversation with Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats.
These talks have led to an arrangement being agreed involving candidates from all parties standing aside in certain seats, with the objective of increasing the number of remain supporting MPs elected in the upcoming election on 12th December. We believe that these arrangements are good for the Party and good for the country.
Who is UTR?
An independent group of political strategists and campaigners who support the Remain cause. UTR encouraged the arrangements that led to the election victory in Brecon & Radnorshire.
To avoid the splitting of the Remain vote between too many Parties in key seats through some Remain party candidates agreeing to stand aside.
Some key points
Isn’t Labour Remain too?
Labour’s official policy still allows for a Labour negotiated Brexit so despite the strong support for Remain and a People’s Vote by many individual Labour MPs as a national Party they cannot be regarded as unequivocally Remain.
Isn’t this undemocratic?
· We have an unfair voting system. The risk is too great that the Conservatives could get a majority with only 35% of the vote. That is undemocratic. All of our parties support Proportional representation for the House of Commons which would allow wide voter choice without the risk of splitting the vote.
· Aren’t Green and Lib Dem policies on Brexit different?
· The Lib Dems want to Revoke Article 50. We want a People’s Vote. We acknowledge differences in policy but these are minor compared to the risk of a Hard Brexit or no deal.
Notes to Editors
For comments please contact me
Media Officer for Harrogate and District Green Party
25 Tentergate Rd., Knaresborough, HG5 9BG