The Greens have adopted their candidates for the three Brighton and Hove seats in the general election on Thursday 8 June and agreed to seek an electoral alliance with other parties.
The selection of Caroline Lucas, Britain’s first and only Green MP, to stand again in Brighton Pavilion had already been announced.
She will be joined by Davy Jones in Brighton Kemptown. He contested the seat at the 2015 general election and came fourth with 3,187 votes.
In Hove the party’s candidate will be Phélim Mc Cafferty, the convenor of the Green group on Brighton and Hove City Council and a former deputy leader of the council.
The Greens said that they were writing to Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Women’s Equality Party and others to “ask for talks about electoral alliances”.
At a rally in Brighton yesterday (Saturday 22 April) Lib Dem Chris Bowers, who stood for the Lib Dems against Caroline Lucas in 2015, also said that his party would be asking its members about a possible deal.
After the last election Mr Bowers co-edited a book called The Alternative with Ms Lucas and the Labour MP Lisa Nandy. It explores the case for a “progressive alliance” to fight the Conservatives.
Ms Lucas said: “Britain is at a crossroads. This general election will dictate the future of our country for generations.
“Theresa May wants a mandate to force through an extreme Brexit, with consequences that could be devastating for our environment, our economy, our world-famous health service and our city.
“In Brighton, we voted overwhelmingly to remain part of the EU and every day my constituents in Brighton Pavilion tell me just how worried they are about Theresa May’s plans.
“I pledge to fight tooth and nail for the best possible outcome from the EU negotiations and for the right to vote on any Brexit deal. I will stand up for EU nationals, for defending our environment and for protecting our hard-won rights.
“I will continue to fight against the privatisation of our world-famous NHS and for more affordable housing, more renewable energy, more positive action on climate change and for air that we can breathe safely.
“And I will continue the fight to protect the future for our local young people, not least by supporting our city’s wonderful Save our Schools campaign and seeking to end crippling student debts.
“The vast majority of people I speak to here in Brighton have had enough of the way politics is going in our country. The times we live in demand the bigger, bolder, fairer vision that the Green Party offers nationally and that I offer here at home.
“I am so proud to serve as an MP in this wonderful city and I hope that on (Thursday) 8 June the people of Brighton Pavilion will allow me to continue.
“Many will know that the idea of local electoral alliances is close to my heart and that Brighton and Hove is a city where alliances could make a very real difference to the outcome of this election.
“The Green Party here will be inviting other parties to talk with us and I sincerely urge those parties to join positively in such talks.
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Brighton and Hove returned three MPs who do not support the Conservatives’ approach to Brexit or the dismantling of our public services and who do support voting reform to create a fairer, more just type of politics in the city and the country.”
Mr Jones said: “I am proud that I have been selected once again to represent the Green Party in Brighton Kemptown and to champion our different approach to politics, social justice and the environment.
“In 2015, Brighton Kemptown sadly sent a Conservative to Westminster. I would not like to see this happen again.
“I know that not all the other parties have yet selected their candidates for the constituency but I would like to open dialogue with any parties who share this view.
“Let us see if, this time around, we can truly make a difference and at the same time send Theresa May the message that her approach to politics, Brexit and public services is not welcome anywhere in our city.”
Councillor Mac Cafferty said: “I am delighted to stand in the general election as the Green Party candidate for Hove. It’s time for a positive and bold vision for Hove and for serious change.
“Under the watch of a Conservative government, homelessness in our city has doubled, the environment has been abandoned and we are facing a ‘hard Brexit’, with a non-existent opposition from Labour.
“The Greens are the only party to say loud and clear, ‘Brighton and Hove will not stand for this.’
“I want to secure a better future for our young people and our environment; to stand up for the many residents plunged into uncertainty by Brexit and the housing crisis.
“I will fight to protect our precious National Health Service and for an end to Tory cuts.
“It’s time to send a clear message to Westminster – our city will not endure more years of destructive, divisive Tory leadership.
“The Greens have been the only party locally to effectively challenge Labour and Conservatives on many issues from council cuts, to the privatisation of the NHS and air pollution.
“As a councillor in the Hove area for the past six years, I know what it means to stand up for our community.
“I am proud of what I have achieved for local people and passionate about our city. Building on my experience as Green group convenor, I will continue to do my best for the residents of Hove, ensuring they are represented at every level.
“As MP Caroline Lucas has shown in Brighton Pavilion, Greens are serious about challenging the government.
“A vote for the Greens is a vote for local, hard-working and accountable representatives prepared to punch above our weight.
“This election is an opportunity to have a Green voice for Hove in Parliament.”