TUSC calls on Green Party not to stand against Jeremy Corbyn if he runs for MP
The left-wing Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)1 today issued an Open Letter to the Green Party2 calling on them to declare that they will not stand a candidate in the Islington North parliamentary constituency if Jeremy Corbyn decides to contest the seat independently of the Labour Party at the next general election.
The TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist, a former Labour backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn from 1983-1992, said:
“It is clear that the move instigated by Sir Keir Starmer to debar Jeremy from standing again as a Labour candidate is not just about rejecting him as an individual but his radical policies too”.
“As the Open Letter from the TUSC steering committee to the Green Party co-leaders argues, in a situation where the Labour Party under Keir Starmer is not an alternative to the Tories but an alternative Tory Party, how other parties respond to a prospective independent candidacy by Jeremy Corbyn will say volumes about them too”.
“Jeremy has not stated his intentions yet regarding the next election but I hope he does decide to stand. He would win wide support in his constituency and nationally too if he did so. And if, as I hope, along with even just a couple of unions he was to initiate a new democratically-organised party in preparation for his stand, I would wager it would be the third largest in the country, with 100,000 members, within a week!”
The TUSC national election agent Clive Heemskerk, added: “With the possibility of a Jeremy Corbyn-led government TUSC did not stand candidates in either the 2017 or 2019 general elections. In contrast the Green Party stood in both elections including in Islington North, polling 4,300 votes there in 2019”.
“But to stand against Jeremy again in the next election, rather than support him if he fights the seat against an imposed ‘Labour’ candidate, would be, as our Open Letter says, ‘an unambiguous political choice in favour of the establishment and their parties’.”
“We wait to see how the Green Party co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay respond”.
TUSC is standing over 250 candidates in the English local council elections on May 4th. The full candidate list, and the seats they are contesting, is available at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Left-candidates-on-May-4th.pdf
1. TUSC was co-founded in 2010 by the late Bob Crow, the RMT transport workers’ union leader, as a federal coalition. Its All-Britain steering committee involves leading trade unionists from eight trade unions; representatives from the socialist organisations participating in the coalition; and a TUSC individual members section open to independent socialists including, since Keir Starmer’s leadership, an ever-growing number of former Labour Party members.
TUSC stood sufficient candidates in 2015 to qualify for a UK-wide party election broadcast, which can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcEMrCTVRdg. In the local and parliamentary elections held on the same day then its candidates won 118,125 votes. TUSC recalibrated its electoral activity however following Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader, not contesting either the 2017 or 2019 general elections. But with Starmer as Labour’s leader, TUSC has resumed standing candidates in all election contests.
2. An Open Letter to the Green Party: Don’t stand against Jeremy Corbyn in Islington North
To: Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay, co-leaders of the Green Party
We are writing to urge the Green Party to declare, at the earliest possible moment in accord with its democratic procedures, that it will not stand a candidate against Jeremy Corbyn if he decides to contest the Islington North seat independently of the Labour Party at the next general election.
We believe that the decision of Labour’s national executive committee to debar Jeremy from standing again as a Labour candidate is not just about renouncing him as an individual but his radical policies too. Sir Keir Starmer, who instigated the NEC decision, had previously made it clear that the 2019 manifesto has been ‘put to one side. The slate is wiped clean’.
This includes not only the pledges to end private-sector involvement in the NHS and renationalise Royal Mail, the water companies and public transport, or the promise to abolish university tuition fees. It also includes the significant commitments made to a Green Industrial Revolution, which were rated by the Friends of the Earth as being the most impactful policies on the climate and ecological crisis of all the parties contesting the 2019 general election.
In this situation, where Starmer’s Labour is increasingly seen not as an alternative to the Tories but as an alternative Tory party serving the interests of the capitalist establishment, how other parties respond to a prospective independent candidacy by Jeremy Corbyn will be an important measure of where they too stand politically. Put simply, which side are you on?
We are aware that the Green Party has consistently stood a candidate in Islington North, not in 1983 when Jeremy Corbyn was first elected but in every contest since, including 2017 and 2019. But to stand against Jeremy again in the next election, rather than support him if he fights the seat against an imposed ‘Labour’ candidate, would be an unambiguous political choice in favour of the establishment and their parties.
Dave Nellist TUSC National Chairperson, former Labour MP 1983-1992
Clive Heemskerk TUSC National Election Agent
Nicky Downes NEU national executive committee (personal capacity)
Hugo Pierre UNISON national executive council Black members rep (personal capacity)
Adam Harmsworth NAPO national executive committee (personal capacity)
Chris Baugh PCS Assistant General Secretary 2004-2019
Amy Murphy USDAW president 2018-2021
Hannah Sell Socialist Party general secretary
Pete McLaren TUSC Individual Members steering committee representative
John Maher System Change (formerly Resist)
For interviews and any other information requests, please email [email protected] or call Clive Heemskerk, the TUSC National Election Agent, on 020-8988-8773.