‘This is about stopping Goldsmith, May, Brexit and Heathrow’: Greens pull out of Richmond by-election

The Green Party has announced they will not be standing a candidate in the Richmond Park and North Kingston by-election.

Andree Frieze was expected to run but released a statement on Thursday, November 3 supporting a progressive alliance with the Liberal Democrats in order to defeat Zac Goldsmith.

In a by-election that will be focused around Heathrow and Brexit, many will be surprised that the Greens have not put a candidate forward.

But Frieze, who ran in the last election for Richmond Park and North Kingston in 2015, said the party is looking at the bigger picture.

She said: “This is about stopping Zac Goldsmith, Theresa May, Brexit and Heathrow.

“The Green Party not standing in an election based on Heathrow and Brexit? It shows how hard we had to think about this decision.

“Zac couldn’t stop Heathrow before, how is he going to do it now?

“He’s a Tory in disguise masquerading as an independent. He has built himself up as brand.”

In Frieze’s official statement she criticised Zac Goldsmith on schooling, food poverty, housing and criticised his London Mayoral campaign.

She added: “I would like to be the candidate that you vote for in this by-election in Richmond Park.

“I believe, wholeheartedly, that I am the right person to do the right thing – for the people, for the planet.

“Realistically, however, I am not going to win and my standing could allow Zac, yet again, to be the wrong person representing our community.

“Furthermore, by not standing and helping a non-Tory win we have the chance to seriously dent the Conservative’s majority.”

On the notion of a progressive alliance with the Liberal Democrats, she said: “We will do it but only if there is giveback.”

Goldsmith said: “As an Independent MP, I know I will be an even stronger representative for our area, working cross-party and constructively with the Government to deliver the best for our local area.”

The chair of Kingston Borough Liberal Democrats Dave Ryder-Mills said: “We will have a meeting in December and see where it goes from there.”

He welcomed the High Court ruling that MPs must vote on triggering Brexit and was optimistic about the Liberal Democrats chances in the upcoming by-election.

He said: “People are saying this election is a referendum on Heathrow. How can it be?

“This is about how do we make Brexit work for North Kingston.

“We want a softer Brexit and of course the decision made by the High Court is welcomed.

“We have a very good chance of winning.”

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