Call for election pact to defeat Tories in Eastbourne

The political picture in Sussex after the 2015 general election

The political picture in Sussex after the 2015 general election

15
Have your say

Calls for election pacts between Labour, the Lib Dems, and Green Party to put forward a single candidate to defeat Tories in seats across East Sussex have been made by two organisations.

In Eastbourne, one of two Sussex seats which the Tories took from the Liberal Democrats back in 2015, Caroline Ansell has a majority of just 733 votes, with former MP Stephen Lloyd expected to stand again in June.

The political picture in Sussex before the 2015 general election

The political picture in Sussex before the 2015 general election

Elsewhere in the county, Labour MP for Hove Peter Kyle is defending a majority of 1,236, Tory MP for Brighton Kemptown Simon Kirby polled just 690 more votes than the Labour candidate back in 2015, while Tory MP Maria Caulfield was elected for Lewes by 1,083 more votes than incumbent Norman Baker.

Earlier this week Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap election for Thursday June 8,

In response both Sussex Progressives and Brighton and Hove Compass are urgently calling on Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens not to contest ‘unwinnable’ seats in East Sussex, but instead to allow the single candidate best-placed to beat the Tories.

A rally has been organised at the Brighton Level on Saturday April 22, starting at 11am, with speeches from the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas, Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Wealden Chris Bowers, and Labour’s Michael Freedman.

A petition has already been launched here

Georgia Amson-Bradshaw, co-convenor of Sussex Progressives, said: “This is not a normal election. The stakes are too high. Theresa May wants voters to rubber stamp her extreme Brexit and her far-right vision for the UK. Progressives cannot afford to be fighting each other at this critical historical moment.”

Mr Bowers said: “This isn’t just about electoral tactics, though that’s an important consideration - it’s about being smart about putting the compassion back into British politics, and to do that we need to free ourselves from the traditional idea that all parties other than our own are the enemy.”

Mr Freedman added: “As a Labour activist at national and local level for 50 years I am sad that we cannot win in June. The next best thing is to stop the Tories. Supporting the Progressive Alliance is the best way to do this.”

What do you think? Comment below or email the newsdesk.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/

2) Like our Facebook page at Text to display

3) Follow us on Twitter @Eastbournenews

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Eastbourne Herald - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.