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MEMBERS are quitting the Greens in protest against its Remain election pact with the Lib Dems, an eco-socialist group within the party claimed yesterday.
Green Left objects to the deal, announced last Thursday, between the Green Party, the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru, in which the parties have agreed not to stand candidates against each other in 60 seats to avoid splitting the Remain vote.
“We’ve taken a stand because we reject the alliance made between the Green Party and the Lib Dems,” Green Left chairman Malcolm Bailey told the Star.
“Although Plaid are all right, it’s the pact with the Lib Dems that has upset people and caused a fair amount of controversy, with party members leaving and candidates stepping down.
“The Lib Dems don’t share our politics, which is shown by their track records in the coalition government and all the Tory policies they voted for.”
A statement by Green Left, which is a recognised group within the Green Party, highlights Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson’s support for the bedroom tax, benefit cuts and the introduction of universal credit — as well as her involvement with fracking.
Mr Bailey said that by entering the pact, the Greens have also prioritised Brexit over the climate emergency.
Green Left is urging members in constituencies without Green candidates to vote Labour instead.
The Unite to Remain pact requires Green Party candidates to stand aside in 40 seats in England and Wales, while the Lib Dems stand aside in just 17.
Mr Bailey said he was shocked at the leadership’s decision — especially because Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley is also a member of Green Left.
“Climate justice does not stand alone, it is linked to social injustice,” he explained, adding that the Lib Dems and other pro-capitalist parties are “part of the problem, not the solution.”
Despite the large number of Green candidates standing aside under the pact, Mr Bartley claimed that the Unite to Remain project presents a “big opportunity for the Green Party to win more MPs.”
He told the Star: “Although Brexit was the catalyst for the Unite to Remain agreement, the effect would be more Green voices in Parliament fighting for massive action on the climate emergency and holding other parties to account on their green credentials.”
Mr Bartley stressed that the pact was purely about avoiding competition between Remain candidates and was not a Green Party “endorsement” of the Lib Dems.
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