Brighton student hopes to unseat Britain’s only Green MP

Posted On 20 Apr 2017 at 8:16 pm

A Sussex University politics student hopes to be selected by Labour to take on Green MP Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavilion at the general election in June.

And if Solomon Curtis, 20, is picked by his party, it won’t be his first attempt at winning a seat in the House of Commons.

Mr Curtis, who lives in Moulsecoomb, stood in Wealden at the 2015 general election. He came third, having gained votes and vote share compared with 2010 against the national swing in a safe Conservative constituency.

Mr Curtis said: “It is my intention to stand in Brighton Pavilion.

“There has been some speculation, mostly from people in the Green Party. Caroline Lucas relies heavily on the student vote.

Solomon Curtis


“Brighton Pavilion is one of the seats we have the best chance of gaining.

“I’m looking to do whatever I can for the Labour Party and obviously if that means standing in Pavilion, that’s something I would relish doing.”

Mr Curtis joined Purna Sen, Labour’s candidate at the 2015 general election, on the campaign trail two years ago and even stood in for her in a hustings debate with Britain’s only Green MP.

He said that he voted for Jeremy Corbyn to be leader but enjoyed good relations across the board, adding: “We’re one Labour Party.”

Anyone who thought they may have seen him in blue earlier this week shouldn’t worry that he’s reaching out too far politically. He’s also a big Brighton and Hove Albion fan.
He said: “I’m a huge Brighton fan who was very proud to see them promoted on Monday.”

His own push for a “premier league” place in politics will depend on a panel made up of members of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and regional board members. He should hear next week.

  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Asking students to vote for you because you are a fellow student or student-age type is pretty shallow. Caroline Lucas is a 2nd term MP for a better reason than student support. She is an outstanding MP.

    I wonder what this 20 year old student’s problem-solving abilities might be faced with a request for help from non-student residents in Pavilion. He strikes me as being a protest vote.

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      Or he could be the “no hoper” that the Greens want to keep Caroline in power. There was talk of a deal between Caroline and Jeremy to protect here seat, and if Labour really want to win here then they will want to choose a much more mature and “world wise” representative.

      Perhaps Sophie Cook would be a better choice?

    • Christina Summers Reply

      His stumbling block won’t necessarily be his age or his student identity I don’t think, but the fact that he would be representing Labour – Corbyn Labour no less.

      Unless any left-wing candidate for Pavilion comes up with some clear unique selling points then Caroline won’t even be shaken because this constituency is entrenched in so-called progressivism that she herself epitomises so well.

      However, the last 12 months should have taught us that predictions and outcomes are becoming more and more unrelated, so Lucas ought to prepare for the worst because the Brexit vote brought out the worst in my opinion, not just in her but also the left in general. They have never recovered.

      • simon eden Reply

        The fact that he represents corbyns labour is a point not a stumbling block.
        That would only be a problem in toryville. Caroline lucas is exemplary MP and has won awards so,. She will win because she good at what she does and represents the views of the majority in her constituency. If it ain’t broken don’t fix it

    • derek Reply

      all I have to say is would lady lucas give up her wealth(and property portfolio) and share it with others or is she all mouth and no action (because she worked hard, I mean her husband worked hard in the property development business!)….

    • Paul Dunning Reply

      A excellent MP what are you on ?? What exactly has she done …and yes she is only in because she lobbies transient students who should not be allowed to vote without living here it’s simply wrong

  2. Valerie Reply

    Put forward policies rather than being a student, as a reason for standing in an election. A party that wishes to Brexit when the majority in Brighton wish to remain, maybe out to take a step back rather than forward.

  3. Colin Miller Reply

    This is insane, instead the Progressive parties should be joning together to ensure that all three of the he city’s constituencies are represented by progressive MPs, it can be done in Lewes and Eastbourne as well. Brighon and a Hove Compass and Sussex Progressives urge all Progressives in the city to sign our petition https://www.change.org/p/unite-don-t-fight-back-the-pacts-a-call-for-progressive-general-election-pacts-for-brighton-hove-lewes-and-eastbourne?recruiter=22947451&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

  4. Robin Hillier Reply

    How is this going to help Labour in any way? By splitting the left vote ? Yes, lets have the tories in Pavilion as well!!! Why doesn’t he stand in Kemptown or even Hove, where he might find Greens quite happy to vote for him?

  5. Matthew Reply

    Whilst I am no supporter of Lucas, she has added value both locally and in Westminster. This is just a further example of hapless labour, who just don’t get it, living in bubble that’s about to burst.

    • joe Reply

      what has Caroline Lucas achieved ? she is a party of one you can promise everything and deliver none . I remember the last election in Brighton Kemptown the reason why there is a tory is because of the greens

      • Robert Smith Reply

        1) The reason why there is a Tory in Kemptown is the electoral system FPTP and there was no electoral pact or arrangements.

        Any other voting system and it would be a Labour held seat. Labour had 13 years to make electoral reforms.

        2) Labour all too often take votes for granted. I was prepared to tactically vote Labour in 2015 but Rachel Reeves crossed a prejudicial red line that I simply couldn’t support, despite how good a candidate Nancy Platt was, although in hustings she failed to match Davy Jones.

  6. Roland Scales Reply

    For goodness’ sake, Solomon Curtis, stand down and get out of the way! There’s some serious business at stake, and if we’re going to defeat the Tories we need heavy-duty parliamentarians like Caroline Lucas on our side more than ever!
    If you’re so keen on getting into politics, get started by standing for the council elections instead.

  7. Julie Cattell Reply

    Solomon is a very bright, talented young man and was a great asset during the 2015 Campaign in Pavilion. And at 18 he increased Labour’s share of the vote in a Tory heartland of Wealden. We should be encouraging young people to engage in politics. I hope he is selected and look forward to campaigning with him. Good luck Solomon!

    • Luke Reply

      He took up a share of the vote that the lib dems historically got as they became toxic in that election. You cannot contribute a small increase of the vote share in Wealden to his campaigning efforts when the Lib Dems came from a high turnout second place to fourth. UKIP are the only party in that constituency that can claim any success other than the newly elected MP.

  8. Maria Reply

    How can we unseat the Tories by voting green? Just asking.

    • Valerie Paynter Reply

      Having a really good MP should be the first priority. What happens if you need to go to your MP with an issue or for an intervention on your behalf?

      Caroline Lucas has been an extraordinarily useful MP, both for her Constituents and within the House of Commons. She is not a lazy MP. She is also a media favourite which gets Brighton a lot of mentions when she is interviewed, or sits on a TV/radio news programme panel like Question Time or Any Questions. Residents of all political colours recognise and admire and VOTE for her.

      Dan Wilson makes the most valid point here so far. If Labour wants ANYTHING in this city it needs to ensure Peter Kyle is re-elected. And what you need to do is not look at unseating the Tories but rather protecting what seats Labour DO have because make no mistake, the existing proportion of MP’s who are Labour is going to be very, very, very hard to retain. Keeping what you HAVE should be a serious priority (and maybe looking to take Kemptown off the undeserving Tory in Kemptown).

      Plus. Labour gets a voting ally for some issues by ensuring Caroline Lucas is returned.

  9. Dan Wilson Reply

    I don’t suppose anyone serious within the Labour party expects to take the Pavilion seat. And deep down many people in Labour admire and like Lucas. But it’s right to stand a Labour candidate and the question lies with how hard Labour fights the seat. With low resources and little time, I’d imagine a barebones operation in Pavilion. Quite rightly.

    Surveying the city scene Labour activists must realise that the best possible outcome in this election is Peter Kyle retaining Hove. Everything in the Labour arsenal in B&H should be put at his disposal.

  10. Valerie Paynter Reply

    If the Tories get back in with the kind of majority that reduces every other Party’s MP’s to cardboard cutouts, with no voting clout in the H of C whatsoever, we can kiss goodbye to the NHS and sufficient resources for properly located local authority schools. Protection for overseas buyers of everything developers build will continue untouched even as doorways on the high streets fill up with ever more homeless.

    This election is NOT just about stacking the deck for Britain in Brexit negotiations as Theres May declares; it is also about ensuring democracy prevails on every other front and fairness for the many still has a voice and a relevant vote in the H of C.

    Make no mistake, the EU is a rocky institution that is certain to come apart in its present form in years to come. The Euro was a divisive blunder that did not benefit Med countries one jot. Inviting Ukraine to join the EU was a dangerously provocative political blunder. Entertaining notions that Turkey belongs in the EU too is provocative. Seeking to create a single EU military (under German control) to entirely REPLACE individual national military forces is not sufficiently widely known about or understood (consequences); and loss of national identity makes any geographical entity a sitting duck for whoever wants to impose a new identity and control it. Brexit is important for retaining order. And Europe needs a new pan-European arrangement and will GET one – hopefully sooner rather than later. Remainers need to look that far ahead instead of fearing the creative change Brexit brings. The Lib-Dems are trying to colonise the so-called soft Brexit position. Look waaaay ahead to how a respectful pan-European alliance can be fashioned that is not about clinging together in a post WW2 mindset (which saw 6 countries form the embryonic EU to prevent Germany and France going after each other AGAIN). It then morphed into a nutty Empire-building, gravy-train organisation.

  11. HJarrs Reply

    I feel that Dr Caroline Lucas will advance with almost supernatural confidence and conviction, and on polling day yet gain win the hearts of the Brighton electorate.

  12. Sam Hunter Reply

    Caroline Lucas needs to respect the outcome of the democratic vote on brexit.

    The Greens are a joke – their open border policy would mean that the UK becomes the world’s health service and education system.

    The Greens used to stand for power in the hands of local people, not a European union run for big business, which encourages low taxes and evasion (Lux and Ireland); blocks free trade from developing countries; and allows free movement of workers from poorer EU states, leaving them unable to develop.

    Greens have been saying the EU needs reform for decades, time to realise it never will.

    Brexit will happen, vote Labour for a brexit free from Tory ideology.

    • derek Reply

      democratic vote, you better school up on what democracy is/means before making such idiotic comments….

  13. Arthur Pendragon Reply

    Anyone seen that £350m a week for the NHS knocking about?

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