BREAKING NEWS: Greens step aside in Mansfield parliamentary fight '˜to keep Tories out'

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The Mansfield Green Party has given its reasons for not fielding a candidate in the forthcoming general election, after fighting the seat in 2015.

The party, which stood local environmental campaigner Paul Frost as their candidate two years ago, said that following a consultation meeting with members they had decided not to contest the Mansfield Parliamentary Constituency.

Joint leaders Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley have been leading a campaign for parties and candidates that agree on key topics to work together for the common good rather than compete unnecessarily on tribal lines.

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This has led to Green Party candidates standing down in some Labour and Liberal Democrat held seats and the Liberal Democrats agreeing not to stand against Caroline Lucas in the Brighton Pavilion seat.

In Mansfield, the major campaign that the Green Party has been working on has been opposing Fracking and this has been key to their decision not to stand in this seat, the party said.

Former candidate and local membership secretary Paul Frost said: ““We have been actively campaigning against the plans of INEOS to frack for shale gas in this area as we believe it threatens the safety and quality of water in our drinking water aquifer, it threatens our environment and tourism and leisure industry and the health of our children and grandchildren.

“It is a benefit to our campaign against fracking to have an MP that shares our views on the dangers and potential threat posed by this industry.

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“We know that the UKIP party has people who deny the scientific evidence on climate change in key positions and their candidate last time was extremely pro-fracking.

“The Conservatives are also pro-fracking and now appear to be targeting Mansfield with wrap around adverts in the local paper, visits from their leader and large amounts of campaign money.

“Local Green Party members took the decision at their election meeting that we would do everything we can to stop the election of a pro-fracking candidate in Mansfield.”

He added: “We are disappointed that local supporters of the Green Party will not be able to cast a vote for a Green candidate in Mansfield at this election and hope that they will get this opportunity in the future as the electoral situation changes.

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“For us as Greens, protecting our local environment, our NHS and public services comes first before narrow party interest and we seek a new kind of politics based on co-operation amongst those in broad agreement that these are priorities.

“We oppose the continuing privatisation and running down of the NHS, a major local employer; and we back a policy of rail nationalisation as part of a socially just, green, transport strategy.

“We cannot tell our previous voters who to vote for, they must make up their own minds, but as a local party we urge Green supporters to use their vote wisely in this election for a candidate that at least shares these major objectives and opposes fracking.”

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