28 April 2017
On April 27th, Islington Green Party launched its biggest and most ambitious General Election campaign yet as it announced its candidates for the two parliamentary seats in Islington.
Local party members voted for London Assembly Member and Islington Councillor Caroline Russell to contest the seat of Islington North and for pro-EU campaigner Benali Hamdache to stand in Islington South and Finsbury.
The Green Party is the second party in Islington, having achieved record results across both constituencies in recent elections and having the only council seat beyond Labour. The Greens will be campaigning against the Labour and Conservative Parties’ reckless support for extreme ‘Brexit’ as well as for cleaner air, a fairer and more sustainable economy and making housing more affordable; all issues that directly affect people in Islington.
Cllr Caroline Russell said: “Islington is one of the most pro-European areas in the country and yet our local MPs have voted with the Tories in support of triggering an extreme version of ‘Brexit’ with devastating economic and environmental consequences. As Islington residents know, I campaigned hard for the UK to remain in the EU in the referendum last year. I will speak up for every one who believes in the stability of Europe and values the closest possible partnership with our European Neighbours. I will also campaign for the rights of EU citizens living and working in Islington who were denied a vote in the referendum but who now, to the disgrace of this government, face an extremely uncertain future.”
In last year’s London elections, the Greens took third place behind Labour and the Conservatives with 13% of the North East London constituency vote. In 2014 the Green Party achieved 19% of the vote across the borough in the local council elections and 16% in the European elections.
Caroline Russell continued; “Having beaten the Lib Dems in all recent elections held in the constituency, I am the clear choice that could seriously contend for the seat where 78% of people voted to remain. Despite my respect for the work that Jeremy Corbyn has done as our constituency MP, I feel that as Labour leader he is not listening to Islington’s views on this fundamental issue.”
“I am proud to be the councillor for Highbury East, a community where I have lived for twenty five years, and to represent the interests of all Londoners in my role on the London Assembly. As an Islington councillor it is an honour to work day in day out with such a rich diversity of people living in our borough as I work with them to address some of the very serious issues many face as a consequence of years of government cuts.
I am standing to give all residents in Islington North the chance to vote for an MP who will resist an extreme Brexit, stand up for the environmental and employment protections that are threatened by the Great Repeal Bill and be a hard-working local champion for Islington North in Parliament.”
Benali Hamdache said; “Islington South and Finsbury is a seat that voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU but is currently represented by Emily Thornberry who voted in favour of triggering Article 50, endorsing the Government’s plans to lead us to an extreme ‘Brexit’. Not only does that leave Islington’s EU citizens vulnerable to being used as negotiating pawns, but it also looks set to remove many of the economic, social and environmental benefits that EU membership currently gives us. Many voters are considering their options and I want to stand on a strong pro-EU platform and explain why leaving the single market and customs union is not inevitable.”