David Williams, the Green Party candidate for Oxford East, launched his campaign last week.
After the Green Party decision to stand down in Oxford West and Abingdon for the Liberal Democrats as part of the Unite to Remain campaign, Williams will be the only candidate from the Greens to run in either of the two Oxford constituencies.
In a statement on the Oxfordshire Green Party website, Williams said:“Having first been elected as a councillor in 2006, I’m known in East Oxford for my tireless campaigning on the NHS, the environment, and against austerity.”
“As my track record shows – in 2016 I opposed the massive cuts that Tory, Labour and Lib Dems voted through the County Council and I have also opposed the disastrous Oxford to Cambridge Expresswayfrom the start. I’m a firm believer in a cleaner, brighter future through investment in renewable energy, public transport and free education.”
Williams, formerly a councillor for 30 years, has long been a leading speaker at Oxford demonstrations.
In a statement, the Green Party said: “[Williams] is a trade unionist, campaigner and academic who has been constant in his principles for over thirty years of public campaigning.”
“Greens are confident of increas- ing their vote share and voice in Oxford East running a full campaign in the constituency, running opposed
cuts, supporting a People’s Vote and as the only party addressing the Climate Emergency.”
The Green Party launched its 2019 manifesto earlier this week, setting out a “Green New Deal”.
Beginning with the statement, “If not now, when?”, the manifesto proposes wide-ranging measures from the replacement of fossil fuels to investing in cycle paths.
The manifesto states: “In spring 2019 the Green MP for Brighton Pa- vilion, Caroline Lucas, sponsored an Early Day Motion highlighting the Climate Emergency, and welcomed environmental activist Greta Thun-
berg to Parliament. A few weeks after Greta addressed MPs on the need for action, Parliament itself declared a Climate Emergency. Caroline continues to work to ensure that warm words from MPs on tackling the Climate Emergency are followed through with meaningful action.
“From council chambers to Westminster, and in hundreds of places in between, Greens are leading thefight against climate chaos.”
“This election is your chance to stand with us and put the Climate Emergency at the top of the political agenda.”
One key policy to tackle climate change is the pledge to spend £100 billion to cut greenhouse gases to zero.
Whereas other party policies aim to cut emissions to zero by 2050 or 2045, the Greens aim for complete elimination by 2030.
Other key environmental policies include banning single-use plastic, spending £2.5 billion on cycle routes, building 100,000 zero-carbon homes, electrifying the railway, and planting 700 million trees by 2030.
Aside from environmental policies, the Greens promise in their manifesto to invest £6 billion a year in the NHS until 2030, replace the ‘first-past-the-post’ voting systemwith an alternative model, and scrap tuition fees for undergraduates.
The Green Party website details describes the “Green New Deal” as a “comprehensive ten-year plan ambitious enough to tackle climate and ecological breakdown at the scale and speed set out by science, says: “It will deliver a fast and fair transformation of our economy and society, renewing almost every as- pect of life in the UK: from the way we produce and consume energy, to the way in which we grow the food we eat, and how we work, travel, and heat our homes.”