A MEMBER of Allerdale and Copeland Green Party is recommending a vote for Labour – and is urging his party members not to stand.

Allan Todd made the plea at an emergency party meeting last week where members discussed whether or not to stand in Copeland and Workington.

He told members that even if the majority decision was to stand, he would not be campaigning or voting for the Green candidates and would be throwing his support behind Labour instead.

Mr Todd, who was the Greens’ Copeland candidate in the 2015 election, said that he would do so even if it meant he would be expelled from the Green Party.

“Sometimes, an individual has to do what they think is the right thing to do – even if they have to pay a personal price,” he said. “No one can predict with any certainty how voters will behave. Every political commentator is agreed that voting volatility will be extremely high this time.“It is entirely possible that the Green votes in both Copeland and Workington could make the difference between Labour or the Tories winning both here and nationally.

“Sometimes it’s necessary to put the interests of the wider population above narrow party interests.”

“Before we vote, we all need to think about how we would feel if Johnson scraped back in as PM, because his hard-right Tory Party gained one or two more seats than Labour and became the largest single party in the House of Commons - and that those one or two more seats were Copeland or Workington.”

Jill Perry, prospective parliamentary candidate for the Green Party in Workington and chairman of the branch, blamed the election system for triggering tactical voting.

“We’re not encouraging people to vote for any other party if there are Green Party candidates. Nationally the party has become part of a ‘Unite to Remain’ alliance and there are 10 seats where neither Plaid Cymru nor the Lib-Dems will stand against us, but Labour is not part of this.

“The election system we have forces everyone into hard choices and I’m frustrated that neither Labour nor Conservative support proportional representation and then want smaller parties to stand down.

“At the last election Allerdale and Copeland Green Party voted to stand our candidates down, but we were disappointed that Labour did not reciprocate. This time we voted to stand our candidates and I’m glad that we did. We’re proud that Labour have adopted some of our best policies into their proposals, but there are still significant differences between the Green Party and Labour.

“Our position on Europe, on proportional representation, on nuclear power, on economic growth are all different. Even their Green New Deal proposal has holes in it – perhaps the most significant is that they seem to think electric cars will solve the transport issue, whereas we recognise that you can’t just replace one fuel with another.

“Instead we have to get people out of cars, into walking, cycling and using public transport much more.

“Having said all that, if people decide they can live with these differences and vote Labour, then we recommend that they consider swapping their vote with someone whose Green vote will have a greater impact, such as someone living in the constituencies of Bristol West or the Isle of Wight. But we believe it’s important that someone points out the flaws and offers the voters an alternative.”