Election 2017: Green Party not standing in Ilford North to help Labour’s Wes Streeting

Ilford North Labour MP Wes Streeting makes a speech at a march to save King George Hospital's A&E, o

Ilford North Labour MP Wes Streeting makes a speech at a march to save King George Hospital's A&E, on 18th March 2017. - Credit: Archant

The Green Party will not be fielding a candidate in Ilford North in a bid to help Labour’s Wes Streeting and stop a “hard Brexit”.

The Waltham Forest and Redbridge branch announced yesterday that they would be standing aside after a meeting with Mr Streeting where he made a number of policy commitments.

The news comes after Friday’s announcement that Ukip would not be standing to support Tory candidate Lee Scott.

A Green Party spokeswoman said: “Ilford North is a marginal constituency where cooperation between the more progressive parties offers the best chance of beating the Conservatives.”

Mr Streeting, who has represented the constituency for the last two years, beat former Tory MP Mr Scott by just 589 votes in 2015.

He has agreed to support the Green Party with their drive to lower the voting age to 16 and support proportional representation.

The spokeswoman continued: “Mr Streeting has also promised us that he will work tirelessly to put pressure on the government to deliver a Brexit deal that works in the interests of the whole country, not a privileged few.”

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She added that the Labour candidate’s campaign to save King George Hospital’s A&E, his stance against building on Oakfield Playing Fields and the poor air quality in Redbridge lead to members decide to stand aside.

Mr Streeting said: “I’d be proud to have the support of Green voters at this election to defeat the ‘Bluekip’ alliance of the Tories and UKIP in Ilford North.

“I hope that Green voters in Ilford North will lend me their support at this election safe in the knowledge that I will fight to get the best possible deal on Brexit, continue to champion electoral reform, and work together on local issues that we both care about.”

David Reynolds, the Green candidate in 2015, said: “We are sorry that this means that Green Party members and supporters in Ilford North will not have the opportunity to vote Green on this occasion. When proportional representation is introduced these kind of deals will no longer be necessary”.

The party will be fielding candidates in Ilford South, Leyton and Wanstead, and Chingford and Woodford Green.