The Green Party is fielding a record number of candidates in this month’s local elections, its leader Natalie Bennett announced today.
She predicted gains in London, Liverpool, Oxford and Bristol in the elections on 22 May. The party, which has around 140 councillors, is fielding 1,855 candidates with particularly large numbers in the East, South-West and North West.
Ms Bennett, launching the party’s England local election campaign, rejected the accusation that Ukip was sweeping up support from voters disillusioned with the major Westminster parties.
She said Green councillors were “in it for the long haul” unlike Ukip’s representatives.
“We are growing our number of councillors, we are seeing steady growth in Green Party members. We are very much going forward from a solid base,” she added.
Ms Bennett said the party was putting housing at the heart of its appeal to the voters.
“We need to have genuinely affordable housing on brownfield sites. We cannot rely on private developers anymore. They are simply not building the homes we need,” she said.
The Greens held the launch in Solihull, West Midlands, where the party has seven councillors and are set to become the opposition party on the local authority.