|The Despicable Duo - Andrew Brons & Nick Griffin, elected as BNP MEPs before the split|
THE GREEN Party target candidates for the North in the European elections, Cllr Andrew Cooper and Peter Cranie, have outlined their plans to kick the BNP out of Europe. Speaking at a fringe meeting at the Green Party's spring conference in Liverpool they expressed their determination to kick the far right out of the North West and Yorkshire & Humber regions. These regions elected the BNP's only members of the European Parliament in 2009.
Andrew Cooper, lead candidate for Yorkshire and Humber region and a Kirklees councillor, said:
“It’s a stain on Yorkshire and Humber that we elected a BNP member to the European Parliament in 2009 and we're determined to reverse that decision this time. But rather than focusing on a political party whose days are numbered, I'll be campaigning on the issues that really matter to people - explaining how we create more jobs, how we can improve our local economy and how we use practical solutions to tackle climate change.
"We want to be proud of our MEPs so that we can say 'there's someone in Brussels fighting for what I believe in'."
Speaking about UKIP, Andrew Cooper said "UKIP don’t turn up to vote in the European Parliament and they’re not involved in the business of the parliament, but they’re very happy to take the money. Greens have an excellent attendance record which means we're at the table when crucial decisions are being made."
The fringe meeting also welcomed Clara Palliard, PCS Culture Sector President and a member of Merseyside TUC, who urged her fellow trade unionists to back the Green Party in May. She highlighted the violence, intimidation and threats suffered by many anti-racism campaigners in the region and called on trade unionists to back the Greens.
Clara Palliard said: "The Green Party is clearly in a good position to beat the BNP in May. That's why trade unionists across the region are coming out in favour of the Greens as a robust challenger to the threat of the far right. The bottom line is we’ve got one fascist too many and that's Griffin. We also have to be vigilant against the rise of UKIP who are simply fascists in disguise. UKIP and the mainstream parties would have us believe that austerity is the only show in town, that the cuts are inevitable. The Green Party rejects that view and offers an alternative - jobs, decent working conditions, a fairer distribution of wealth and a sensible strategy to tackle climate change and its devastating consequences."
Peter Cranie, the Green lead for the North West region said: "Sadly the BNP has not gone away. They were out on the streets of Wythenshawe at the recent by-election. We came incredibly close to stopping them back in 2009 and we're hopeful that we will kick them out this May. If they lose their seats they'll lose their European funding and without that money they’ll be finished as a political force. Their ejection from the parliament will remove their legitimacy and their right to participate in media debates."
He concluded: "As for UKIP, I intend to expose them for what they are. Their racism, lies, double standards and a shocking lack of policy should mean they have no place in British politics. Our job is to engage with people about their problems and their fears and show that xenophobic rhetoric from businessmen who call for more cuts and less protection for working people is not the answer. The Green Party is challenging austerity, standing up for working people and making the case for a positive alternative."
Contact: Cllr Andrew Cooper
Lead Green Euro candidate, Yorkshire and the Humber
01484 667519 | 07721 348619