Tory candidates won’t sign up to climate change or new politics

David Cameron has made climate change and a "new politics" key parts of his future offer. But his candidates are reluctant to show their commitment to either issue.

David Cameron has made climate change and a “new politics” centre pieces of his offer to the country. But his candidates are reluctant to show their commitment to either issue.

A blog on the Friends of the Earth website shows that just one Conservative candidate, Zac Goldsmith, has signed their four-point pledge on climate change. The pledge includes a commitment to achieve a reduction in UK greenhouse gas emission of 42 per cent by 2020. The pledge has been signed by 57 Labour candidates, 68 Liberal Democrat candidates, 105 Greens, and 11 other candidates including members of the SNP and Plaid Cymru.

Meanwhile, the election web initiative DEMREF 2010 has revealed that the Conservative party’s candidates are “not taking democratic reform seriously”. So far just four Conservative general election candidates have taken part in DEMREF 2010, which was set up in February this year to allow voters to scrutinize and compare the views of parliamentary hopefuls on cleaning up politics. By contrast, 119 Liberal Democrat candidates, 83 UKIP candidates, 61 Labour candidates, 37 Green candidates and 16 independent/smaller party candidates have already openly stated their views on the DEMREF 2010 website. The four Tory candidates are Toby Bootle, Diana Cload, Ewan Lamont, and Jack Perschke.

DEMREF 2010 organiser Tony Samphier told Left Foot Forward:

“Conservative candidates seem to be rather shy about sharing their reform ideas with the voting public. This is strange because the party has actually got things to shout about, as they did last week about giving constituents the power to sack their MPs.

“Information is power, but at present voters are not getting enough of it from Conservative candidates on reform issues.”

UPDATE 16/4:

Two other stories outlining Tory grassroots position on climate change:

– A ComRes poll shows that only 7 per cent of Tory candidates believe the expansion of onshore wind is essential.

Political Climate shows that, “Those intending to vote Conservative are less likely to believe in man-made climate  change, and less likely to be supportive of climate policies, regardless of how they are framed.” It has a nice graphic too.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.