11 November 2019

Local members were consulted by email and the result was:
61 - Clive Martin should stand aside
 3 - Clive Martin should continue to stand
- a 20:1 ratio with a response rate of over 40%. 

Full text of press release:

Taunton Deane Green Party candidate steps aside to secure Remain vote 
The Green Party of England and Wales will not field a candidate in Taunton Deane in the upcoming General Election as part of a series of electoral arrangements with the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru. 
Clive Martin is stepping aside to ensure that the Remain vote on 12 December is unified and that a Tory candidate is not successful in the constituency.
These electoral arrangements have been made in a handful of seats between the Green Party, Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru.  Clive is stepping aside here for the good of the country and the local area – Greens are always willing to work with other parties for the common good.  Although this should have been and in some ways still is an election about the climate emergency we have to do this to avoid a deeply damaging Brexit and ensure representation for Remain parties in the House of Commons.
There will still be hundreds of Green Party candidates standing in the General Election across England and Wales.  Green representation across England and Wales has increased hugely in 2019 – at local council and EU elections.  There are already Green Party councillors on Somerset County Council and Somerset West and Taunton Council and there will in future be more.  In the European Elections the Green Party finished ahead of the Conservatives and came first or second in constituencies right around the country.
This does not mean we agree with Plaid Cymru or the Lib Dems on all issues or endorse their Manifestos.  We have come to this arrangement because it both increases the likelihood of us getting more Green MPs elected and reduces the number of leave supporting Conservatives likely to be elected.
Clive Martin said:
“Personally I regret that I will not be able to run as the Green Party’s candidate in Taunton Deane as I did in the 2015 and 2017 elections.  I had hoped to make the case for our radical environmental and social policies.  But the issue of Brexit is centre stage and if it is imposed on us would be deeply damaging.  It would be a victory for Trump and Putin.  They not only are a threat to democracy and to peace but their policies also threaten the future of the planet and all life on it.  The Conservative Party has, in a very short space of time, changed fundamentally and become a narrow and extreme English Nationalist Party.  It has to be stopped.  Our local members voted overwhelmingly, by a ratio of 20 to 1, for me to stand aside and I support their decision.  Working with other parties for the common good in this way is the right thing to do for the people of Taunton Deane.”

 Further action
It looks likely that our neighbouring Green Party in Bridgwater and West Somerset will be running a candidate so it will be possible to help them out with campaigning.  Come to our monthly meeting to find out more.

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