Green party candidate claims ‘U-turn Starmer’ and Labour aren’t honest with the public

The Green Party candidate for Streatham and Croydon North suggested that both locally and nationally, the Labour party avoids honest dialogue with the public on matters such as Gaza.

The safe Labour seats in Lambeth of Streatham and Croydon North, Clapham and Brixton Hill, Dulwich and West Norwood, and Vauxhall and Camberwell Green, all re-elected their Labour MPs with a large majority.

However, in comparison to previous elections all four have severely fewer votes – something interesting in an election where Labour had a landslide victory in order to get the Tories out of office.

Steve Reed, MP for Streatham and Croydon North has gone from the most popular out of the four with 74.2% of votes in 2017 to the least popular with 52.1% in 2024.

Helen Hayes, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood has been able to maintain this a bit more, from 69.6% in 2017 to 60.3% in 2024, signifying that it wasn’t just following the EU Brexit referendum in 2016 as Lambeth was the second highest remain voter at 78.6%, just behind Gibraltar.

In his victory speech, Reed said: “We will clean up our polluted rivers and we will clean up our polluted politics.”

Scott Ainslie, Green Party candidate for Reed’s constituency of Streatham and Croydon North, said: “We’ve got U-turn Starmer. All the policies that he was in favour of like proportional representation – U-turns – investing in a green new deal – U-turns.

“I think I would’ve felt more hopeful if we had more green MPs that would push Labour to be better.

“I think we’re quite sheepish about Labour’s offer to the public. There’s a lot of people on the doorstep saying how refreshing the Green manifesto was.”

Ainslie claimed that residents viewed the Green manifesto as one that covered the topics that were kept away from the debate between Sunak and Starmer such as a focus on the climate, on Gaza and cost-of-living.

He came in second place with a huge increase in votes for Greens from 2.9% in 2019 to 17.1% in 2024.

Ainslie said: “There was a lot of two-party politics, which I think everyone’s fed up with.

“We need electoral reform in this country because so many millions of voices are not being heard.

“And where there’s a Green in the room we can push Labour to be better, holding their feet to the fire, encouraging them to be braver.”

Reed had been criticised in late 2023 for his response to the situation in Gaza as well as his response to a local awareness group, Crystal Palace Friends of Palestine, protesting at his house with signs that read ‘Steve Reed kills babies’ and ‘shame on you Steve Reed’.

Ainslie said: “I’ve been holding Labour to account in Lambeth as a councillor for the last 10 years, they don’t like being told when they’re wrong, they’ve got no humility sometimes. It would be good if they were able to just say, ‘you know what? We did do wrong there’, or ‘I understand where they’re coming from’.

“They just double down on their defensiveness and get litigious – I don’t think that’s a good way to be as a human being.”

The Green vote has increased all throughout Lambeth – a borough renowned for its background in activism.

Pete Elliott received the highest vote out of the Green candidates in the four constituencies, receiving 18.9% of votes in Dulwich and West Norwood.

Elliott’s Green party was the only one to have also been in second place for the general election in 2019.

Pete Elliott: Green candidate for Dulwich and West Norwood

The Green Party here is a firm supporter of Palestine, with Elliott stating on his portfolio: “Both Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak have let Palestinians down, by failing to call out war crimes when they have clearly been happening before our eyes.”

In the seat that he campaigned for, Dulwich and West Norwood, the re-elected MP Helen Hayes caught flack in November 2023 for following Starmer’s request to abstain from voting for the SNP’s amendment for an ‘immediate ceasefire’ in the Israel-Hamas war.

Elliott said: “I’m hopeful that the results will do us justice, certainly in Dulwich and West Norwood, as we’ve had a great response from people on the doorstep and where we’ve spoken to people, they’re really wanting a green voice out there to represent them.

“We just need more people to get involved with us, help us out and I think we can certainly turn this area Green.”

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