York Green Party

Natalie Bennett visits York for sellout evening at University

8 October 2014

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett spoke to a packed house in York on Tuesday 7th October, marking the announcement of our 2015 General Election candidates for York Central and Outer.

Natalie Bennett meets York 2015 candidates

Natalie, a former editor of the Guardian Weekly, was welcomed at the railway station by Jonathan Tyler (pictured left), the Green Party’s prospective candidate for York Central, and Ginnie Shaw (right), prospective candidate for York Outer. Also joining them was Green Councillor Dave Taylor.

During her visit Natalie met with rail unions to discuss the future of UK railways. The Greens are the only party who support full renationalisation of the railways - a policy supported by 64% in a recent YouGov poll. Natalie also visited the Door 84 Youth Centre in the Groves to find out about their work with young people across York, a topical local issue following the recent announcement of yet more cuts to Council-funded youth services in the city. In the afternoon, at the invitation of the University of York Green Party, she visited the Department of Social Policy and the Bio-Renewables Hub to discuss their work.

In the evening, Natalie met with Green activists and gave a sell-out talk at York University, at which she highlighted the Greens' commitment to equality, properly funded public services and social welfare, hand-in-hand with living within the limits of the planet. She took questions on a wide range of subjects, from GMOs and evidence-based policy to House of Lords reform and the current blanket coverage of UKIP, saying "we're polling at around 7%, level with the Lib Dems and at about a third of UKIP's rating - I only wish we had a third of Farage's coverage!"

Natalie's visit marks the start of our campaign for the 2015 General Election. In York 16% of voters supported the Green Party during the recent European elections, far more than supported the Lib Dems and not very far below the Labour and Conservative votes.  Nationally membership of the Green Party has surged in recent months and has now passed 20,000 with the Greens consistently polling at least neck and neck with the Lib Dems for the General Election. As Natalie said, "politics in the future is not going to be like the past".

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