Jeremy Corbyn cool on electoral pact with Greens’ Caroline Lucas

There have been calls for Labour and the Greens to stand down in each others' target seats

Jon Stone
Wednesday 03 August 2016 11:25
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Green MP Caroline Lucas has said a pact could benefit both parties
Green MP Caroline Lucas has said a pact could benefit both parties

Jeremy Corbyn has dismissed the idea of an immediate electoral pact with the Green Party, arguing that he is “committed to a Labour cause and position”.

Some Labour politicains, as well as Green MP Caroline Lucas, have suggested a deal at the next election in order to end the split in the left-wing vote against the Conservatives.

One proposal would see the Greens should stand down in some marginal seats where Labour could beat the Tories; Labour would in return stand down in areas where the Greens might win.

Though the Labour leader did not rule out a pact with the Greens in the future, he said cooperation was currently related to inside Parliament rather than at elections.

Asked by Brighton and Hove local newspaper The Argus about the possibility of such a pact, Mr Corbyn replied:

“At the moment no. What we are doing as a party committed to the Labour cause and position, in opposition in parliament in order to maximise votes against the government obviously we cooperate with other opposition parties.

“Does this translate into electoral pacts? No.”

The leader was asked about the possibility of a pact after drawing huge crowds to a leadership rally in Brighton.

Brighton’s local constituency Labour party is believed to be one of the biggest in the country, having seen huge growth after Mr Corbyn’s election.

One local party meeting held last month had to be repeated three times because the number of people who attended far outstripped the capacity of the booked room, according to accounts.

The city has long been a left-wing stronghold and was the first place in the UK to elect a Green Party member of parliament in 2010.

Ms Lucas retained her Brighton Pavilion seat with an increased majority at the 2015 election. Labour took the Hove constituency in 2015 while the Tories hold Brighton Kemptown.

There is some support within Labour for a less tribal approach. Clive Lewis, the Labour MP for Norwich, has previously said he would rather be "in government' with Ms Lucas than attacking her.

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