Eastbourne Green candidate apologises for blunder

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The Green Party’s candidate in Eastbourne has apologised after urging people to vote tactically for Liberal Democrat Stephen Lloyd in Thursday’s General Election.

At a Save Our Schools rally in the town centre on Saturday, Alex Hough, selected by the Eastbourne Green Party to fight for the seat, told people to vote for her Lib Dem opponent if they wanted to reduce the Tory majority in the town held by Caroline Ansell, the town’s MP since 2015.

In a handful of constituencies, political parties have formed alliances in a bid to get people to vote tactically and influence the voting.

But Eastbourne isn’t one of them and Ms Hough has apologised this morning (Tuesday) saying it wasn’t Green Party policy to support the Liberal Democrats and that she had said the wrong thing.

In a statement Ms Hough said, “Apologies for my mess-up at the schools rally on Saturday. It was to support whoever was most likely to reduce the Tory majority. This may mean the same thing in Eastbourne, but I said it wrong.

“I had made meticulous plans for the timing cues in my speech, because I needed to first castigate the education cuts, but the timing cues didn’t work, and when I found my time was up I went off script.

”Because the Tory/Labour divide had suddenly narrowed nationally, the Green strategy we’d decided on, after much angst, was that, because Tory cuts are squeezing the life out of our beloved country, we should suggest the people of Eastbourne vote strategically.

“We knew this was tricky, especially after many postal votes were in, but Green votes are never wasted – they are counted, and Greens are in this for the long haul. In this situation, the needs of the country are more important than our party.

“There are good people in the Lib Dems but I’m more at home with the Greens and I wouldn’t want to go back to the Lib Dems. And the Greens are a great bunch, focused entirely on improving the world for our children.”