Following the local agreement, the Green Party Candidate for Bristol North West, Sharmila Bousa, has announced that she will step down from local campaigning for the duration of the general election period with immediate effect.
After several weeks of discussion between the two candidates, agreement has been reached on working together as part of the General Election campaign. This ground-breaking agreement, unique in Bristol political history, increases the prospect of electing a progressive pro-European, pro-electoral reform MP for Bristol North West.
Agreement has been reached around three key policy commitments:
(1) As a pro-European candidate, Mr Jones will call for a referendum on the final Brexit deal if it is rejected by parliament – giving the British people the choice of which direction their country takes, once the alternatives can be clearly seen.
(2) A commitment by Mr Jones to campaign and vote for electoral reform, including the adoption of a truly proportional system of representation for UK General Elections and other local and regional elections. This will include actively campaigning to change the voting system so that the make-up of parliament and other elected assemblies more accurately reflects the voting patterns of the UK electorate.
(3) A commitment by Mr Jones to regular meetings with Bristol Green Party representatives during his term of office to discuss issues that are of particular concern to the Green Party. These include: improving air quality, increasing the levels of social rent housing, developing renewable energy schemes, expanding energy efficiency programmes, protecting the environment, and reducing inequalities.
In return for the above agreed commitments, the Green Party candidate Sharmila Bousa will step down from campaigning in Bristol North West. This means the Green Party will do no freepost leafleting, make no Bristol North West specific hustings appearances, do no doorstep canvassing and no delivery of election leaflets during this General Election campaign in the Bristol North West constituency.
Ms Bousa commented:
“My decision to step aside from active campaigning has not been taken lightly, however I live in the heart of this constituency and I know that people here want the progressive parties to work together. I believe that this is an exceptional election called in exceptional circumstances, and its outcome will have an exceptional impact on our futures”
“We need new ways of thinking and new ways of doing politics” she added. “Sometimes that requires people to make sacrifices for the greater good and to put party politics to one side. Darren has made several concessions on policy, and in return I am making the concession of immediately withdrawing from active campaigning in Bristol North West. Our joint aim is to deliver a progressive MP for Bristol North West better able to represent ALL of its people.”
Mr Jones commented:
“We need to get the best deal from Brexit. And that includes being prepared to go back to the British people to vote on the final deal before leaving the EU. The majority of people in Bristol North West voted to remain in the EU, and I believe that even more want a pro-European MP representing them in Parliament voting on every important Brexit vote over the next five years.
I am therefore grateful to the Green Party for taking the difficult decision not to actively campaign in Bristol North West, and to support my candidacy as the only progressive pro-European who can beat our Brexit Tory MP."
"By working cross party in the national interest, I hope to fight for the people of Bristol North West as their MP, not just on Brexit, but also on protecting our NHS, on providing proper funding for our local schools, and on campaigning to get better public transport in Bristol.
To see a statement by Sharmila providing more background information to this announcement please click here>>>