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Monday 11 April 2016

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TUSC candidates in place for a 100% anti-austerity challenge in May's elections

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has announced its candidates standing for elections to the Scottish parliament, the Welsh national assembly, and sixty English local councils on May 5th.

TUSC has been fielding candidates on a 100% anti-austerity platform since its formation in 2010, co-founded by the late general secretary of the RMT transport workers' union, Bob Crow.

Obviously the political situation has changed since then, with Jeremy Corbyn's election last autumn as Labour leader. TUSC has been clear that it would not stand candidates against Labour politicians who have resisted austerity in the Scottish parliament, the Welsh assembly or local council chambers.

But the big majority of Labour members of the Scottish parliament, Welsh assembly members and local councillors did not support Jeremy Corbyn for leader and still continue to implement cuts to jobs and services. They cannot be surprised if they now face a challenge from a trade unionist and socialist anti-austerity candidate at the ballot box.

There are six Scottish TUSC candidates standing for constituency seats in the Scottish parliament: the Glasgow Unison branch secretary Brian Smith in Glasgow Cathcart; Ian Leech (Glasgow Pollok); Jamie Cocozza (Glasgow Shettleston); Jim Halfpenny (Renfrewshire North & West); Leah Ganley (Dundee East) and Jim McFarlane (Dundee West).

For the Welsh Assembly elections TUSC is standing in three of the five regional list seats, with the candidates headed in South Wales West by the former RMT national executive member Owen Herbert, Ross Saunders in South Wales Central, and Jaime Davies in South Wales East.

In the English council elections there will be 302 TUSC candidates contesting seats in 52 of the 124 local authorities with scheduled elections in May. In addition there are five TUSC candidates standing in by-elections in councils without full elections this year and three TUSC candidates contesting parish council seats.

All TUSC's local election candidates are standing on a policy platform headed, A councillors' revolt could stop the Tory cuts! (see http://tusc.org.uk/policy.php). A full list of candidates, broken down into regions, is available at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/375.pdf

Lastly, TUSC is standing in two of the three Mayoral contests outside London taking place on May 5th, with Unison national executive member Roger Bannister standing in Liverpool and Tom Baldwin in Bristol.

Roger has already notched up one achievement in this election - beating UKIP, who have been unable to find a candidate to stand in Britain's eighth biggest city. Whether this will affect the constant attention given to Nigel Farage and his party by the establishment media is another matter, of course.