The Green Party PPC have said that they are standing down from Harrogate and Knaresborough to give the Liberal Democrats a stronger challenge against the Conservatives at the General Election.
A combined statement said:
Already at this snap General Election, Ukip has stood down in favour of Conservative candidates in scores of seats, as part of a “regressive alliance”, to give the Conservatives a greater chance of winning. Ukip has also stood down here in Harrogate & Knaresborough. So now a ‘progressive alliance’ between Liberal Democrats and Greens will offer voters a simpler choice if they are worried about a Conservative Government with an enlarged majority pursuing a Hard Brexit that would damage our economy.
In the 2015 elections, Harrogate and Knaresborough:
- Conservative Andrew Jones 28,153
- Liberal Democrat Helen Flynn 11,782
- UKIP David Simister 5,681
- Labour Jan Williams 5,409
- Green Shan Oakes 2,351
Andrew Jones MP said: I do not think it should be a surprise when a politician stands for election on a manifesto, wins and then votes to enact that manifesto. To condemn someone for keeping their word seems an odd tactic to say the least.
Our politics in Harrogate, Knaresborough and Boroughbridge has never been about shady, backroom deals between political parties. It has always been about positive, open and honest debate between the political parties and their representatives.
It is a shame that our politics has taken this backwards step where local politicians of major parties do a ‘smoke-filled room deal’ in an attempt to bypass the will of the electorate. Neither I, nor any of my team, have had any discussion with any candidates, representatives or parties to try and engineer such an arrangement. It seems strange that others boast about how they have colluded to disenfranchise supporters here and in Skipton and Ripon where there is no Liberal Democrat candidate for the first time in decades.