Progressive parties must 'restate the importance of working together'
Nicola Sturgeon, Leanne Wood, Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley have signed a joint statement condemning the toxic politics of the Tory conference, and calling for progressives to work together to resist it.
Also signed by Green leaders in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the full statement reads:
“The countries of the United Kingdom face a spiralling political and economic crisis. At the top of the Conservative Party, the narrow vote in favour of leaving the EU has now been interpreted as the pretext for a drastic cutting of ties with Europe, which would have dire economic results – and as an excuse for the most toxic rhetoric on immigration we have seen from any government in living memory.
This is a profoundly moral question which gets to the heart of what sort of country we think we live in. We will not tolerate the contribution of people from overseas to our NHS being called into question, or a new version of the divisive rhetoric of ‘British jobs for British workers’. Neither will we allow the people of these islands, no matter how they voted on June 23rd, to be presented as a reactionary, xenophobic mass whoseonly concern is somehow taking the UK back to a lost imperial age. At a time of increasing violence and tension, we will call out the actions of politicians who threaten to enflame those same things.
This is not a time for parties to play games, or meekly respect the tired convention whereby they do not break cover during each other’s conferences. It is an occasion for us to restate the importance of working together to resist the Tories’ toxic politics, and make the case for a better future for our people and communities. We will do this by continuing to work and campaign with the fierce sense of urgency this political moment demands.”
‘Now more than ever it is vital that we present a real opposition to the Conservatives,’ Lucas said, explaining the decision to issue a joint statment. ‘By uniting we have the best chance of facing them down and protecting the people who elected us.’
Responding to Theresa May’s speech, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also focused on the rhetoric the Conservatives are using on immigration.
‘Conservative Party leaders have sunk to a new low this week as they fan the flames of xenophobia and hatred in our communities and try to blame foreigners for their own failures,’ he said.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.