8 February 2015
* Greens expecting big impact with 'core' Labour voters and ex-Lib Dems
* Peter Pinkney: Labour have abandoned their roots.
The President of the RMT Union is to stand for the Green Party at this year’s general election.
Peter Pinkney, whose union represents more than 80,000 workers across Britain, will stand for the Green Party in Redcar, a constituency won by the Liberal Democrats at the last election. It is the first time that the Green Party has stood in the constituency and follows recent turmoil in the local Labour party which saw the resignation of ten councillors this year.
“I spoke at the Green Party Conference in 2013, and I was impressed with the ideas that were being put forward. The ideas of the Greens resonated with a lot of my beliefs. Obviously the Greens commitment to bring railways back into public hands struck a chord, but also policies to invest in the NHS, build social housing, institute higher taxes for those who can afford it, and put forward progressive policies on immigration informed my decision to stand.
"As a life long socialist, I could see that most of the policies were what the Labour Party once had, but those days are long gone with Labour.”
Pinkney was elected as RMT President in December 2012 for a three year term. He spends much of his time in London working for the union but his home is in the Redcar constituency.
Though the Greens have not stood in Redcar before they expect to make an impact amid Lib Dem collapse and the splitting of the local Labour Party.
Natalie Bennett, Green Party Leader, said:
“We’re delighted to announce Peter as our candidate in Redcar. Voters there, like their counterparts across the UK, are sick and tired of the business as usual politics offered by the establishment parties. We’re giving them a chance to vote for someone who will defend our NHS, campaign for publically owned railways and push for decent affordable housing for everyone who needs it.”
1. Peter Pinkney has been President of the RMT Union since December 2012: http://www.rmt.org.uk/about/rmt-structure/senior-rmt-officials/
2. 10 Labour councillors resign in Redcar: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-31133031
3. Polls taken before Green candidacy announced suggest major Lib Dem losses to Labour: http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Redcar-Full-tables-Sept-14.pdf