Firebrand former MP not among Green Party's Northampton election candidates

Tony Clarke says he needs to concentrate on his day job and will not be fighting a General Election for the first time in more than 20 years.
Tony Clarke says he needs to concentrate on his day job and will not be fighting a General Election for the first time in more than 20 years.
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Former Northampton South MP Tony Clarke will not be fighting the general election for the Green Party this June in order to concentrate on his teaching job

Mr Clarke, who was one of 121 Labour MPs to rebel against the Government’s plans for war in the Middle East back in 2003, stood for the Greens in 2015 in the Northampton North seat.

The Green Party candidates for the 2017 election.

The Green Party candidates for the 2017 election.

But the outspoken politician will not be contesting it again this year as he is only six months into his job as a public services teacher at Northampton College.

"We've got some really excellent candidates coming forward in the Green Party at the moment," he said. "We have got some young candidates.

"The last thing I want to be doing six months into a new job is to fight a General Election."

Mr Clarke, 53, has not ruled out standing for the Greens at the borough council in two years' time.

Northampton North candidate Steve Miller.

Northampton North candidate Steve Miller.

The snap election this year has left the party in Northamptonshire needing to launch an internet crowdfunding appeal in order to reach the £500 needed to fight the June 8 poll.

But the candidates say they can put a number of environmental issues on the agenda.

Kingsthorpe man Steve Miller will stand for the party in Northampton North and has recently been a prominent campaigner for better air quality in the town.

“The air pollution problem in Northampton is not going to go away soon,” said Steve. “The Conservative party has had to be taken to the High Court to take the problem seriously, and it’s seriously affecting the health of people in the town while they delay. As MP for Northampton North, I would make the air pollution issue my priority from day one, and immediately start pressing the Government for a clear and wide-ranging strategy.”

Junior doctor Scott Mabbutt will be the Green Party candidate for Northampton South.

The Kettering General Hospital employee lives in Northampton and said: "I have spent my adult life caring for sick people in our county. I feel that my job gives me a unique insight into the problems facing our society and how they have been exacerbated by the current government.”

"The Green Party will also fight against the Conservative’s agenda of a ‘Hard’ Brexit and will campaign for a ratification referendum on the final deal."