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Friday 11 April 2014

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New candidates take TUSC within sight of BBC's 'fair coverage' threshold

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has approved a further thirty candidates to stand under the TUSC umbrella in the local council elections taking place on May 22nd.

This brings the total figure up to 506 - with the number of councils with TUSC candidates also increasing, from 80 last week to 85 now. Most importantly, with more applications arriving even since the latest approvals broke the 500 barrier, TUSC is now less than a hundred candidates short of reaching the BBC's threshold for 'fair media coverage' in the official election period.

The full list of the candidates so far, presented in a regional breakdown and including the latest applications agreed, can be found at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/294.pdf.

There is still time to come forward as a candidate. The official nomination papers have to be handed in by Thursday 24th April. That means nomination forms could be collected from your council next week, with plenty of opportunities remaining to get ten electors in the ward where you want to stand to sign your form (see the guidance notes for TUSC candidates and agents on electoral procedures on the TUSC website at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/283.pdf ). Reports have come in that candidates have got their forms signed in just an hour's door-knocking, such is the anger at the establishment politicians.

The other formal requirement to appear on the ballot paper as a TUSC candidate is to get a 'Certificate of Authorisation' from TUSC. That means completing the council candidate authorisation application form available on the Candidates page of the TUSC website at http://www.tusc.org.uk/candidates.php and e-mailing it as soon as possible to Clive Heemskerk, the TUSC National Election Agent, at cliveheemskerk@socialistparty.org.uk

This is also a political requirement for TUSC, signifying that prospective candidates have signed up to the TUSC Local Elections Policy Platform, which commits candidates, amongst other points, to oppose all cuts to council jobs, services, pay and conditions if they were elected (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/policy for the full platform).

It remains to be seen what the BBC would describe as 'fair media coverage' for this platform, a bold alternative to the austerity consensus. But getting TUSC at least to the negotiating stage is now within reach.