One of the contenders to become the Green Party candidate for Mayor says Zac Goldsmith’s “economic values” mean the party should not encourage members to vote for him next May.
London’s Mayoral elections entitle each voter to cast both a first and second preference vote. Should no candidate win more than 50% of the vote on an initial count, all but the top two are eliminated and the second preference votes cast by voters backing the eliminated candidates are then counted to determine a winner.
In previous City Hall elections the Greens recommended that supporters cast their second preferences for former Labour Mayor Ken Livingstone. However in recent months there’s been suggestions that the party’s members could decide to endorse Tory frontrunner Zac Goldsmith, a longtime campaigner on environmental issues.
Today Jonathan Bartley, one of six hopefuls campaigning to be selected as the Green candidate, said Mr Goldsmith’s record in the Commons showed there was a “stark contrast” between his “economic values” and those of the Green party.
Mr Bartley commented: “On every major economic decision in the House of Commons, Zac has marched through the same lobby as George Osborne and David Cameron.
“When it comes to welcoming new Londoners from overseas, fixing the scourge of an unrestrained market in the private rented sector and making local economies more resilient to the volatile antics of banks, Zac Goldsmith has been absent.
“This reason alone should disqualify any talk of recommending a second preference for Zac Goldsmith.”
Bartley also cautioned against endorsing a Labour candidate saying that although the party’s London Assembly members have worked “constructively with Labour at City Hall” and enjoyed “a deep relationship with Ken Livingstone” it was time for the party to stand alone.
He added: “Next year’s Mayor and Assembly election will be make or break for the Green Party. I believe the party has come of age and should not be campaigning in the shadow of either Labour or the Conservatives.
“I fundamentally disagree with those Greens who are making a case to recommend a second preference for another candidate.”