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8 October 2014

Escaping the establishment: why I defected from the Lib Dems to the Greens

Why Lib Dem councillors go Green.

By Andrew Baldrey Andrew Baldrey

I’ve just become the latest in a long line of Liberal Democrat councillors to move over to the Green Party.

I did so because politics is too important to be left to the three big Westminster parties who all offer up different shades of business-as-usual.

Since I joined Torbay Council in July 2010, I have taken every opportunity to speak up for the needs of the planet as much as for our local needs for investment and employment. I’ve pushed for an expansion of local renewable energy and I’ve succeeded in winning important changes.

I think that I can better represent my constituents as a member of a party that is credible and responsible rather than one which would prefer to prop up a right-wing government than stand up for the values that people voted for in 2010.

With the Green Party polling neck and neck with the Lib Dems and membership surging past 20,000 for the first time, now is the time to ‘go Green’.

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Plenty of other Lib Dem Councillors have come to the same conclusion.

In Solihull alone we have four ex-Lib Dems now serving as Green councillors. The Greens are now the official opposition on the Council, having overtaken both Labour and the Lib Dems in just three years.

That’s because the Green Party stands up for what it believes in rather than kow-towing to the mighty and the powerful. It’s such a contrast to the way the Lib Dems have behaved in government as Cameron’s willing executioners: helping to tear apart the social fabric while ignoring the looming environmental crisis that is climate change.

I am proud to now represent a party that believes that building a fairer society and protecting the planet for future generations go hand in hand. That we can have a living wage for everyone and a renewable energy revolution. That we will ensure the top 1 per cent pay their fair share of tax and keep the great British countryside free from fracking.

I’m confident that more and more people share these values and will vote Green in record numbers for a General Election next year.

More voters will have that Green choice than ever before. The Green Party will stand in a record number of parliamentary constituencies in 2015, contesting three-quarters of all the available seats. That means 50 per cent more people have the opportunity to vote Green in 2015 compared to 2010.

I am proud to now be a member of a rapidly growing party that is fired up by a massive 45 per cent boost in membership in 2014 alone and is the only party prepared to challenge the cosy Westminster establishment.

Andrew Baldrey is a councillor on Torbay Council