The start of a Remain Alliance? Greens stand aside in Brecon as talks continue

“The best choice right now is to put Wales before tribal politics.”

The Green Party have chosen to stand aside in the upcoming Brecon and Radnorshire by-election, in a move that is likely to boost the Lib Dems’ chances of taking the seat.

The August 1st by-election was triggered after more than 10,000 people signed a petition to remove Conservative MP Chris Davies, after he was convicted of filing a false expense claim in March.

The Tories have reselected Mr Davies to stand for the seat, but the Liberal Democrats are hoping to take it – further eroding the Conservatives’ already paper-thin working majority.

The 10,000 people who signed a petition against him represents around 20% of the electorate, and the recent electoral success of the Lib Dems means they stand a strong chance of winning on a strongly pro-Remain ticket.

Plaid Cymru are understood to be still in talks with the Lib Dems over whether to stand aside. Plaid Cymru got 3% of the vote in 2017.

The Greens did not run in the constituency in 2017, but secured 3% of the vote in 2015 and have surged in recent months.

The party said in a statement:

“The local Green Party in Brecon and Radnor has chosen not to contest the upcoming by-election, in order to maximise the chances of the candidate most likely to beat the Conservatives and the Brexit Party.

“Our local Green Party, like some other parties, has decided in these very particular circumstances that the best choice right now is to put Wales before tribal politics.

“We will always stand up for environmental and social justice, but current government policies, including the threat of crashing out of the EU, are bad news for people and environment.”

Labour, the Lib Dems and the Brexit Party are understood to be running candidates.

Responding, Best for Britain CEO Naomi Smith said:

“The Greens have a proud history of putting country before party in the national interest, and we welcome their brave move to stand aside in Brecon and Radnorshire.

“This by-election provides a real opportunity for all remain parties to join forces and stop the new PM taking us out of the EU against the will of this House and the country.

“75,000 people have already signed a petition calling on internationalist in MPs in all parties to work better together, and this is an example of exactly that in action.”

Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.

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