Former Labour MP gives his backing to the Greens in the East

Ian Gibson speaks in the crowded room at the Vauxhall Centre as the campaign to save mental health services is launched. Picture: Denise Bradley Ian Gibson speaks in the crowded room at the Vauxhall Centre as the campaign to save mental health services is launched. Picture: Denise Bradley

Tuesday, May 6, 2014
4:50 PM

The Green Party has been given a major boost in its bid to win its first seat for the East in the European Parliament after a former Labour MP has given its lead candidate his backing.

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Ian Gibson has endorsed the party in a letter urging people to consider voting Green in the poll later this month.

The former Norwich North MP, who resigned from the House of Commons in 2009 in the wake of the parliamentary expenses scandal, said that while he was not a member of the Green party, its lead candidate Rupert Read was the one who grabbed him the most.

The Greens missed out on a seat in the European Parliament in the East by 1pc in the last Euro election.

But while Dr Gibson gave his backing to Dr Read in the European elections, he said he did not have any advice to people for the local Norwich city council elections which will take place on the same day.

“I haven’t really taken a position on that. I suspect we will carry on in the same old way. The old British saying is we will muddle through.”

Dr Gibson has signed a letter of support, along with Sir Jonathon Porritt, former chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, the human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and the journalist and author George Monbiot.

It said: “We are asking you today - whoever you normally vote for, and whichever party you intend to vote for in council elections or in next year’s general election - to consider voting Green this time.

“A Green vote on May 22 would elect Rupert Read to be your European Parliamentarian. He came very close last time around; the Greens need just 1pc more than last time to get an MEP this time, as the people of the neighbouring London and South East regions have already got.

“Please give the Greens a chance in the proportional representation European elections, and elect an MEP of whom you will, we are confident, be proud.”

But Labour MEP Richard Howitt said: “As the member of the European Parliament who has piloted through EU law for companies to report on their environmental impact and who was the only British MEP to be on the European delegation at the UN negotiations on sustainable development, there is a strong case for voters who care about climate change and for the future of our planet to vote Labour at this election.”

Dr Read said: “I feel honoured to have this distinguished group behind me, but it’s especially exciting to have the backing of people like Ian Gibson and Peter Tatchell who have previously been prominent themselves in other political parties.”

13 comments

  • He resigned after he was told he was deselected for the 2010 election. Labour shooting itself in the foot and letting the tory in. Dumbos.

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    marty r

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

  • Ian was not deselected. He chose to leave.

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    alecto

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

  • Look you Gibson lefties talk about tribal. At best he claimed expenses on his London flat which he allowed his daughter to live in free.Then he sold it to her at a knock down ridiculous price . I am no friend of Gordon Brown as you can imagine but he was right and it is tax payers money Labour likes to spend other peoples money till it has gone,maybe just maybe,there is a natural home in the Green Party

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    PaulH

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

  • Ian Gibson is one of the more honourable people in politics who operates on radical values which he sees exempified sometimes in the Green Party , sometimes in he NHS Party and occasionally in members of the Labour Party. As someone who was active in the Labour Party I can easily spot the negative reactionary and tribalist origins of some of the other contributors on this list. Ian Gibson was sacrificed by Gordon Brown's New Labour only because he was a critic of their conservative policies. New Labour and Old Labour are contemptuous of principle and therefore contemptuous of Ian Gibson.

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    Mike Shone

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

  • Ian Gibson was deselected because he was a maverick and independent MP, a thorn in the side of NuLab. The expenses charges were dubious at best. His views certainly don't belong in ukip because here he is promoting the Greens who are fanatical pro EU'ers. However, judging by some of the regular trolls on ,EEN comments, maybe his Darwinian viewpoint is correct.

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    marty r

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

  • Do we really want a lecture on who to vote for by a expenses cheat

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    PaulH

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

  • I wonder how many people who vote for the greens have actually read their manifesto? Their attitude towards criminals in particular make the loony left look sensible.

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    John Bridge

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

  • I heard Rupert Read at the UEA Hustings the other night. His childish rant asking the UKIP speaker foe an apology over perceived racism and anti gay marriage stance.was greeted with mocking from the mainly student audience. This may go down well with the alfresco coffee set in Unthank Rd,but to real hard working people he sounded quite bad mannered and a trifle full of grandstanding himself.He and Ian Gibson seem to coming from the same place

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    PaulH

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

  • the greens are nothing more than affluent people who see socialism as a lifestyle choice -- the same people who think allotments are the "in" thing at the moment. you only have to look at that phil hardy defecting from the greens to the blues and how they endorsed former tory at the police commissioner elections. they also split the left-wing vote to allow more david cameron's lot in.

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    Double Bill

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

  • Too late, Rupert ruthless is not my first choice as he dislikes fellow union members who dare to want to speak on education, even when they are rectors of universities. Indeed, due to the Green Partys choice of candidate, I will not vote at all.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

  • I wouldn't touch anything Monbiot endorses with a barge pole. His columns in the Guardian, apart from an occasional glimmer, are a hotch potch of misinformation , prejudice and ignorance. Gibson showed , as Peter says, his lack of respect for the area and surely the university vote is the main reason the Greens have support in the Norwich area.

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    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

  • Green??? I think not.

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    sharky

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

  • Mr Gibson was backing the NHS party last I heard. He might make his mind up one day. I guess it's tough once you've been kicked out of a mainstream party for reportedly fiddling expenses.

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    Jeffrey Osborne

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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