Labour should have done a deal with the Greens, claims Norwich candidate in key seat

Norwich City Council elections. Green candidate. Pictured: Lesley Grahame

Norwich City Council elections. Green candidate. Pictured: Lesley Grahame

Labour should have done a deal with the Greens to avoid a split in the progressive vote, the Norwich South Green Party candidate has said.

Lesley Grahame, who is taking on incumbent Liberal Democrat Simon Wright and Labour's Clive Lewis in the general election, said that while it would not have been her decision to make, she would have considered a deal in the city.

But she hit out at Labour for targeting Caroline Lucas in Brighton, claiming she was the only MP in parliament saying something significantly different to the Conservatives.

Her comments come as Labour big-hitter Sadiq Khan has been tasked with leading a counter offensive against the Green Party, amid polling which suggests Labour could miss on 17 marginal seats as the party takes its votes.

Polling shows the Greens are picking up between 5pc and 8pc of the vote nationally.

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Ms Grahame, a part-time district nurse, said: 'I think it's really sad that Labour would rather fight the threat of a good example than learn from it, or fight the real enemy - market fundamentalism with its spiralling inequality and escalating destruction of the earth we share.

'If they were serious about progressive politics they would be talking to us about Labour Tory marginals, and negotiating seats where we shouldn't split the progressive vote.

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'Instead they're targeting Caroline Lucas who is the only MP in Parliament saying something significantly different to the Tories they purport to oppose.'

She said that while she would have considered a deal in Norwich, more discussion needed to be had between the parties, and Norwich South was also its second strongest constituency.

'There is a real chance of a second Green MP here, as well as a record of many years of hard work by many people, which is not mine to sacrifice. However there are places where such a deal would be for the greater good,' she added.

Norwich Labour candidate said that his main concern was Norwich, but next year's General Election would be complex.

Adding: 'But whether we like it or not, with the first past the post system of voting, people in Norwich will wake up the day after the election to either a Labour or Conservative dominated Government.

'Regardless of what any of the smaller party's may claim, I want to see a well funded public NHS not a cash starved, privatised one. I want to see the wealthy pay their fare share and an economy that works for all of us and not just a few. I understand to achieve this we need a Labour not a Tory Government.'

Mr Khan told The Guardian: 'Whether we like it or not, our electoral system means that every vote for the Green party makes a Tory government more likely. I don't want to scare people, but that's the truth.

'So our job is twofold: to convince these voters we have changed, share their values and will be a government they can be proud of, and to let them know about the risks of voting for the Green party.'

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