Green Party Upset Over Exclusion From Hustings

Organisers say only the three biggest parties invited due to time constraints

Green protest


Hounslow Green Party

Green Party

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The Green Party said said it was disappointed not to be included in the hustings for the Brentford & Isleworth constituency to be held at the Gurdwara Temple in Hounslow this Sunday (13 October).

The organisers have said they decided to only invite the three main political parties to the event because of time constraints. The event is for 90 minutes and is chaired by Torin Douglas. Labour MP Ruth Cadbury, Helen Cross of the Liberal Democrats and Seena Shah of the Conservatives will be on the panel.

The Greens commented, “Our unfair ‘first past the post’ voting system means that smaller parties can get side-lined, both by the media and at events like this. It can be a vicious circle, with the spotlight only on who has the competitive edge between the ‘main’ parties."

The Greens said that recent elections in Europe had shown marked increases in the green vote, and in the recent European Elections, England & Wales Greens returned seven MEPs, up from their previous three. In the 2016 London Mayoral campaign Sian Berry came third, beating the Liberal Democrats into third place. Notably, these elections have been PR ones.

In the 2015 Brentford and Isleworth parliamentary election the Green Party were neck and neck with the Liberal Democrats, and candidate Daniel Goldsmith, got 2,120 votes which was only 185 votes less than the Liberal Democrat candidate, they pointed out. However, since the hustings was announced the Green Party candidate, Victoria George, has decided to step down and the party is currently considering a replacement.

Deepak Singh Udassi, organiser of the event, the first of its kind at the Hounslow Singh Sabha Gurdwara, said the decision to invite only three parties had been taken to reflect the time available.

"In the 90 minute session there will be approximately one hour for Q&A with each candidate given two minutes to reply. This will allow for 7-8 questions to be raised.

"Extending scope to a 5-candidate format would only allow for 4-5 questions. In an ideal world the session would be longer to mitigate the above. However the venue is booked both before and after the time slot."

A decision had been taken to allow for the three parties attending, based on the vote count from the last election, and so reflecting the community’s interests.

"This is the first time a hustings has been held at the Sikh place of worship, and after Sunday 13th I imagine strongly that the Gurdwara committee would support an initiative like this again for the benefit of the community. That being the case a longer session would be scheduled and all parties invited to attend."

He said he had taken the initiative to organise the event himself and apologised if there were any shortcomings.


October 13, 2019

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