Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Green Party (BCPGP) fielded candidates for all five Parliamentary constituencies in the area, to fight the General Election on 12th December 2019.
Left-to-right: Natalie Carswell (Mid Dorset & North Poole), Simon Bull (Bournemouth West), Alasdair Keddie (Bournemouth East), Barry Harding-Rathbone (Poole), Chris Rigby (Christchurch).
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Also available is archived information about our May 2019 candidates for Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council.
Standing in Bournemouth East for a third time, Alasdair Keddie is a Bournemouth University graduate who has lived in the constituency for 26 years. He founded the local Greenpeace network 10 years ago and co-founded the local Extinction Rebellion group. Alasdair has also stood twice as council candidate for Queen's Park, finishing runner-up to the Conservatives in May 2019.
Alasdair says: "This election will occur in unprecedented circumstances - against the backdrop of Climate Emergency, Brexit, and a political system that is no longer fit for purpose. Our democracy is being hijacked, by a ruthless unelected Prime Minister and further undermined by organisations like Cambridge Analytica and Aggregate IQ, targeting lies and misinformation to the electorate. We urgently need to defend our democracy from these dark forces.
My campaign will demand immediate and urgent action on the Climate & Ecological Emergency, a People's Vote on Brexit, urgent reforms to our political system in order to restore real democracy, proper funding for the NHS and no further privatisation, and an end to austerity in all its forms."
Councillor Simon Bull is passionate about leaving the planet, and Bournemouth, in a fit state for his children. Standing for a second time in Bournemouth West, Simon runs a locally based national charity and is married with four children. He has lived in the constituency for 17 years, and he co-founded and ran for 14 years an arts charity working with disadvantaged members of the Bournemouth community.
Simon was elected as Bournemouth's first Green councillor in Winton East in 2015. His first-term achievements included saving two sets of public toilets from closure and securing flood prevention measures. Simon won re-election by a landslide this year with 63% of the vote. He proposed the motion to declare Climate & Ecological Emergency which the new BCP Council passed overwhelmingly at its very first meeting. On this Simon says: "We continue to keep this on the Council's agenda but also it has to be at the top of the agenda in the next parliament. Steps have to be taken urgently to reduce our impact on the planet."
On other priorities Simon says: The future of our relationship with Europe hangs in the balance; I support and campaign for Remain, as I believe that though the EU is not perfect it is the best choice for the United Kingdom. We have seen appalling and unnecessary cuts to our services - the NHS, the police, the fire service. We are told austerity is over, but the damage caused by these cuts must be reversed."
In Bournemouth this May, the Green Party's local election vote share of 19% (a 5.2% increase from 2015) placed them second to the Conservatives.
BCP councillor Chris Rigby is standing in Christchurch for a second time. A 10-year resident of this conurbation, Chris is a local Extinction Rebellion facilitator, trustee of SOS Save Our Shores, and a seasoned Greenpeace activist. He won election as BCP's second Green councillor in May 2019 by a landslide in Winton East, with 55% of the vote, and successfully co-proposed BCP's Climate & Ecological Emergency.
Chris says: "I pledge to act urgently upon the climate emergency, as there are no politics on a dead planet. I support a people's vote on Brexit, with an option to remain on the ballot. I will defend our NHS, fight to maintain its public ownership, increase its funding and treat mental and physical health equally. I will fight to stop austerity, it has not worked and never will, and has only served to increase homelessness, increase food bank use, and increase the wealth of the 1%. I will demand reform to our voting system, with a fair proportional representation system, so that everyone in this country has their vote heard, and is represented in Westminster."
Natalie Carswell was raised in the area and returned to live in the constituency 13 years ago after completing her degree at the University of Westminster in Business & Financial Services. She went on to become a lecturer in Professional Studies and Accounting at Bournemouth University and is now co-owner of a sustainability consultancy business with her husband which is based in Lytchett Matravers. She was the Green Party candidate for Lytchett Matravers & Upton in the May 2019 Dorset Council election.
Natalie says: “I have watched this country repeatedly vote for a Conservative government only to be let down by them over and over again. We need a different type of politics that is based on caring for the people of this country and not on what party can retain power and use it to benefit their own. I feel that, unfortunately, the Brexit issue is still number one in the minds of people and it needs to be dealt with – ideally by a second referendum –so that we can move on and start to tackle the most important issue of our time – climate change.”
I would like to firstly pay tribute to my predecessor, Johnny Tutton, who has had to sadly stand down for personal reasons, for all his hard work and effort.
Also a huge thanks to those local Green Party members who supported my adoption, and I cannot wait to take on Robert Syms and use this General Election campaign to fight the REAL issues that are facing us as a local town community and a wider nation.
We urgently need a progressive new political mandate to focus on the disaster that is the global climate emergency, and a push for a better way ahead for ALL the citizens of this country both sustainably, socially & economically, not just continuing the same old failed rhetoric of the past few years. It's time for change, it's time to #VOTEGREEN on Dec 12th!
Barry has set out his campaign pledges which can be read on our News Page here.
In Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole in this May's European elections, the Green Party polled more votes than Labour and Conservatives combined. Opinion polls this year have measured Green Party General Election support as high as 11%, and are consistently showing strong increases from the 2017 General Election results.
Barry Harding-Rathbone on Twitter