A Green MEP has warned of the advance of far-right parties across the European Union because disillusioned voters believed they were being denied a real choice by mainstream politicians.
Launching the Greens’ European election campaign, Jean Lambert argued that it was the only party offering a positive alternative to the status quo.
Ms Lambert said: “The future direction of Europe is at stake in May. Greens want a place where people are treated with respect and dignity. We cannot let these xenophobic parties gain ground. We defend diversity, not bankers' dividends.”
The Green Party, which picked up eight per cent support at last European elections, is defending two seats in the Strasbourg parliament.
Ms Lambert, an MEP for London, told its spring conference in Liverpool: “After suffering years of appalling austerity policies, people feel let down by politicians and think there are no real choices.”
She said: “This leads to the danger that the only choice they see is between the status quo and those right wing parties who would erode our rights and leave Europe altogether.”
Earlier the Greens’ leader, Natalie Bennett, told activists that hostility to fracking would propel the party to success in the elections.
“Fracking is an issue I’m convinced we will win on – in small part due to the logic of our position, in larger part due to the strength, the passion, the determination of our anti-fracking protesters,” she said.
She accused David Cameron of “abandoning” whole areas to floods, comparing the devastation with the suffering of mining communities in the 1980s.