The Bradford Green Party yesterday voted by 80 percent in favour to endorse Sophie Walker’s candidacy in Shipley, calling for a progressive alliance to oust Conservative MP Philip Davies. The local Liberal Democrat party is currently in discussion about whether to also step aside and Labour is yet to select a candidate.
“I am delighted that the local Green Party has taken the brave decision to put people before party politics and I am deeply honoured that they have chosen to go the extra step with an endorsement of my candidacy,” said Walker. “Together we will be campaigning on a progressive ticket to get the best deal for people in Shipley – investing in care, protecting our NHS, growing our local economy and protecting our greenbelt. We will deliver a fairer future for all.”
“The local Green Party has stepped up, just as the Liberal Democrats have done in Brighton, because they know how much is at stake. Philip Davies has brought shame on Shipley, while his government is destroying public services, privatising the NHS and attacking hard working families. Parties working in progressive alliance offer the best chance we have of making this election count,” she added.
Matt Edwards, Campaign Coordinator for the Green Party in Bradford District, explained: “We have been convinced that Sophie is a candidate that the other progressive parties in Shipley should unite behind. People have been crying out for a new kind of politics where the left-leaning parties work together to achieve their common goals, rather than attack each other over their differences.”
The announcement follows remarkable events in Brighton last night where Liberal Democrats stood aside in Brighton Pavilion and the Greens stood aside in Brighton Kemptown.
Caroline Lucas said: “I’m delighted to endorse Sophie in Shipley. Under the Conservative government – the one Mr Davies has supported – we have seen the biggest rise in inequality since Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister. Sophie and I are both committed to tackling that – from reversing the cuts that have left women behind and ending the gender pay gap, to increasing women’s representation in parliament and in business. Sophie has pledged to stand on an agenda that many Green Party members and supporters will agree with and I look forward to her playing an active role in my campaigns to undo the privatisation of our NHS and for a fairer voter system.”
“The creativity we are seeing in politics across the UK is truly exciting,” said Walker. “I urge the local Labour Party and Liberal Democrats in Shipley to join us in doing things differently. Everyone I have met on the campaign trail in Shipley is calling for a unity candidate to oust Philip Davies. This is a real chance to prevent Philip Davies, and his Regressive Alliance with UKIP, being returned to Parliament.”
In the 2015 General Election the combined vote share of the Green Party, Lib Dems and Labour in Shipley was 40 per cent and the Green Party almost doubled its vote share. The Labour Party hasn’t won the seat in sixteen years and polled 31 per cent in the last election.
The Women’s Equality Party was established two years ago to highlight and dismantle obstacles to gender equality in the UK: a political and economic architecture rigged against women and diversity, an education system riven with unconscious bias and gender stereotyping, a media that reinforces these stereotypes, a society that assigns little value to caregiving and therefore assumes it to be women’s business, that underpays women and invests less in women’s health and permits endemic harassment and violence against women.
In May 2016 the party won 350,000 votes in elections across Scotland, Wales and London. It is currently contesting the Liverpool Metro Mayor election and local elections in Sheffield, Tunbridge Wells, South Wales and Worcester.
The Party currently has 65,000 members and registered supporters. It aims to put equality for women at the top of the national political agenda by being an electoral force that also works with other political parties; in addition to party membership it also offers joint memberships to members of other political parties.
Press enquiries to Catherine Riley, Head of Communications (firstname.lastname@example.org/ +447764 752 731).