Bradford Green Party vote to stand aside and endorse Sophie Walker in Shipley

27 April 2017

Tonight, Bradford Green Party members have made the bold decision to stand aside and endorse Sophie Walker’s candidacy in the Shipley Constituency.

Matt Edwards, the Campaign Coordinator for the Green Party in Bradford District explained “Late last week, we were approached by Sophie Walker and her team about working together in the upcoming election.”

“Whilst we were initially sceptical, we have been convinced that Sophie is a candidate that the other progressive parties in Shipley should unite behind if they were willing to put the people of Shipley before their own political ambition”

“Many have been crying out for a new kind of politics were the left leaning parties work together to achieve their common goals, rather than attack each other over their differences.”

Bradford Green Party are calling on the local Liberal Democrats and Labour to join our bold move and unite behind a progressive, non-partisan candidate.

Before meeting with Sophie and her team, Bradford Greens had initial discussions with Shipley Labour Party about potential electoral co-operation but these did not progress once it became clear that Labour were not yet prepared to negotiate a mutually beneficial arrangement.

In 2015, Philip Davies was elected on 50% of the vote with UKIP coming third on 8.9%. UKIP have already indicated that they will not oppose Mr Davies as he supports many of their stances including the desire to see us completely cut off from our European neighbours by a Hard Brexit.

Matt pointed out that “In 2015 Labour, Greens and Lib Dems combined attracted only 40% of the vote. It is clear that locally there is not enough support for us separately to defeat Mr Davies and now that he has entered into a “Regressive Alliance” with UKIP urgent and unconventional action is needed.” Since 1950, only one Labour has represented the Shipley constituency. The seat is regarded by many as a safe Conservative seat.

Caroline Lucas MPExplaining her endorsement for Sophie’s candidacy in Shipley, the National Co-Leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas said: “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 has pledged to stand on an agenda that many Green Party members and supporters will agree with.

“She is also committed to a fair voting system, to campaigning to undo the privatisation of our NHS and to protecting the local environment, such as by opposing the plans to build an incinerator in Keighley.”

On the announcement, Sophie Walker has said "I am honoured to have the backing of the local Green Party and will work hard with them to oust Philip Davies.

“Our campaign will be one that values equality and fights injustice to build a caring, tolerant and sustainable future for all. At a time when the politics of division espoused by Philip Davies and so many others threatens the future prosperity and growth of the UK, the Green Party has been brave enough to set party politics aside to come together for the people of Shipley.

“Together we will show that a collaborative and progressive politics can transform our economy and society, by giving opportunities to all."

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