They make politicians in a tougher mould in Australia, as Natalie Bennett, the British Green party’s new leader, demonstrated yesterday when she was in great robust form when she came to support Shasha Khan, her party’s candidate for the Croydon North by-election on Thursday.
Khan was described by his leader as “someone who has been around for the long haul, not some fly-by-night who has just landed on your doorstep for four weeks or so.”
Bennett insisted that she had “not allocated” a name to go with the latter description. Who could she have in mind? Andy Stranack? Lee Jasper? Steve Reed?
She is probably referring to Jasper, as the Greens are competing with his Respect party for the radical votes.
Bennett, a former journalist, said that voting for Khan is “the only clear way of sending a message to Boris that Croydon people do not want the incinerator”.
The two Green politicians met outside the troubled Upper Norwood Joint Library, which has been so starved of funds by Croydon Council that the library is running its own “Flush Fund” to appeal for money from members of the public just to repair its broken toilet.
There seemed to be few Green members for the party leader’s visit: if that is signal of the support that Khan can expect at the ballot box on Thursday, he may struggle to match the number of votes won when he stood at the General Election and finished fourth.
Click on any of the links below to read responses to questionnaires sent to candidates in the by-election:
- Ben Stevenson, Communist party
- Marisha Ray, Liberal Democrats
- John Loony, OMRLP
- Andy Stranack, Conservative
- Steve Reed, Labour
- Shasha Khan, Green
- Lee Jasper, Respect
- Inside Croydon: For comment and analysis about Croydon, from inside Croydon
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- Jasper admits to using Twitter bots to drive election bid (insidecroydon.com)
- Croydon North’s sense of neglect holds key to byelection (guardian.co.uk)
- £30m libraries privatisation could be sent for judicial review (insidecroydon.com)