3 October 2019
South East Dorset Green Party has selected candidates for all five Parliamentary constituencies in the area, to fight the next General Election whenever it is called.
Left to right: Simon Bull (Bournemouth West), Natalie Carswell (Mid Dorset & North Poole), John Tutton (Poole), Chris Rigby (Christchurch), Alasdair Keddie (Bournemouth East)
In Bournemouth East, the Green Party candidate will for a third time be Alasdair Keddie. A Bournemouth University graduate who has lived in the constituency for 26 years, Alasdair founded the local Greenpeace network 10 years ago and co-founded the local Extinction Rebellion group. Alasdair has also stood twice as council candidate for Queen's Park, finishing runner-up to the Conservatives in May 2019.
Alasdair says: "This election will occur in unprecedented circumstances - against the backdrop of Climate Emergency, Brexit, and a political system that is no longer fit for purpose. Our democracy is being hijacked, by a ruthless unelected Prime Minister and further undermined by organisations like Cambridge Analytica and Aggregate IQ, targeting lies and misinformation to the electorate. We urgently need to defend our democracy from these dark forces.
My campaign will demand immediate and urgent action on the Climate & Ecological Emergency, a People's Vote on Brexit, urgent reforms to our political system in order to restore real democracy, proper funding for the NHS and no further privatisation, and an end to austerity in all its forms."
In Bournemouth West, 2017 Green candidate Simon Bull will stand again. A father of four who has lived in the constituency for 17 years, Simon was elected as Bournemouth's first Green councillor in Winton East in 2015. His first-term achievements included saving two sets of public toilets from closure and securing flood prevention measures. Simon won re-election by a landslide this year with 63% of the vote. He proposed the motion to declare Climate & Ecological Emergency which the new BCP Council passed overwhelmingly at its very first meeting. On this Simon says: "We continue to keep this on the Council's agenda but also it has to be at the top of the agenda in the next parliament. Steps have to be taken urgently to reduce our impact on the planet."
On other priorities Simon says: The future of our relationship with Europe hangs in the balance; I support and campaign for Remain, as I believe that though the EU is not perfect it is the best choice for the United Kingdom. We have seen appalling and unnecessary cuts to our services - the NHS, the police, the fire service. We are told austerity is over, but the damage caused by these cuts must be reversed."
In Bournemouth this May, the Green Party's local election vote share of 19% (a 5.2% increase from 2015) placed them second to the Conservatives.
The Green Party candidate in Christchurch, standing there for a second time, will be BCP councillor Chris Rigby. A 10-year resident of this conurbation, Chris is a local Extinction Rebellion facilitator, trustee of SOS Save Our Shores, and a seasoned Greenpeace activist. He won election as BCP's second Green councillor in May 2019 by a landslide in Winton East, with 55% of the vote, and successfully co-proposed BCP's Climate & Ecological Emergency.
Chris says: "I pledge to act urgently upon the climate emergency, as there are no politics on a dead planet. I support a people's vote on Brexit, with an option to remain on the ballot. I will defend our NHS, fight to maintain its public ownership, increase its funding and treat mental and physical health equally. I will fight to stop austerity, it has not worked and never will, and has only served to increase homelessness, increase food bank use, and increase the wealth of the 1%. I will demand reform to our voting system, with a fair proportional representation system, so that everyone in this country has their vote heard, and is represented in Westminster."
In Mid Dorset & North Poole the Green Party have selected Natalie Carswell. Natalie was raised in the area and returned to live in the constituency 13 years ago after completing her degree at the University of Westminster in Business & Financial Services. She went on to become a lecturer in Professional Studies and Accounting at Bournemouth University and is now co-owner of a sustainability consultancy business with her husband which is based in Lytchett Matravers. She was the Green Party candidate for Lytchett Matravers & Upton in the May 2019 Dorset Council election.
Natalie says: “I have watched this country repeatedly vote for a Conservative government only to be let down by them over and over again. We need a different type of politics that is based on caring for the people of this country and not on what party can retain power and use it to benefit their own. I feel that, unfortunately, the Brexit issue is still number one in the minds of people and it needs to be dealt with – ideally by a second referendum –so that we can move on and start to tackle the most important issue of our time – climate change.”
In Poole the Green Party candidate will be John Tutton, who previously contested the North Dorset constituency in 2017. John was born in Poole and has lived there most of his life. He has worked as an NHS mental health support worker at St Ann's Hospital for over 14 years, and occasionally as a local surf instructor. John has been involved with numerous different community projects over the years around Bournemouth and Poole, and is passionate about taking time out to make a difference where he can.
John says: "From a young age I have felt frustrated with what I see as inequality throughout the world, and have been driven to make a difference to those whose lives are less fortunate than my own. I feel extremely lucky to have grown up in Dorset and hold a great love for my local area, and for the country as a whole. I get frustrated with what feels like firefighting when engaging with the homeless and dispossessed, the environment, and working in the depleted and neglected NHS.
"I feel we need a government that is not afraid to confront these problems and make changes that need to happen, and rather than becoming more insular with Brexit we need to have our leaders willing to engage on the international stage to overcome global issues. We need more elected officials that care for people as individuals, rather than just figures on spreadsheets."
In Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole in this May's European elections, the Green Party polled more votes than Labour and Conservatives combined. Opinion polls this year have measured Green Party General Election support as high as 11%, and are consistently showing strong increases from the 2017 General Election results.
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