5 December 2019
Statements about the Labour Party leaflets in Totnes
It has come to the attention of South Devon Green Party that the Labour Party in Totnes have distributed leaflets which may imply support from our party for the Labour candidate. We would like to make clear that neither South Devon Green Party, South West Green Party, our officers, or members were consulted or consented to this publication and we do not endorse any candidate in Totnes. We have been clear that Green Party members, supporters and voters in Totnes should make their own informed choice about who to vote for in our absence and have hosted an event to help with that decision.
Green Party councillor Jacqi Hodgson made a unilateral, personal statement under the condition it was only for use in verbal communication. This was published and distributed by Labour without her consent and included a photograph of her with the Labour Candidate.
The leaflet also included a statement which the Green Party candidate for Totnes, Stephen Reid, had previously provided to the media to correctly emphasise that our local party were not endorsing any specific candidate. Stephen stood down as part of the Green Party’s commitment to the Unite to Remain agreements which aimed to unify the remain vote. This was in return for a greater chance to elect more green MPs in other key seats, including Bristol West and the Isle of Wight.
This need for the Green Party to work with Unite to Remain was only necessary because of our desperately unfair electoral system. All three parties involved (Greens, Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru) have differences in many policy areas but have common ground on Europe and crucially in support for meaningful electoral reform. The Labour party are the only socialist party in Europe who do not support a fair voting system like proportional representation. They contribute to the broken system we have which returns a right-wing government, voted for by a minority, most of the time and prevents the Green Party having the parliamentary representation our voters deserve.