The former Labour MP for Northampton South, Tony Clarke, has today revealed he has joined the Green Party
Mr Clarke. who was a Labour MP between 1997 and 2005 when he lost his seat to Brian Binley, quit the party soon after he left Parliament to become an independent councillor on both the borough and county councils. He was also a former general manager at Northampton Town FC
Although he lost his seat on the borough, he remains a county councillor for Castle ward until the elections for the authority are held on May 2.
Writing on his blog today, 49-year-old Mr Clarke said: “In communities like the one I represent in Castle Ward, austerity and hard times are unfortunately no strangers, and we are better prepared than most to deal with the consequences of recession.
“We are people more likely to be sociable to our neighbours, more protective of the vulnerable, more likely to step in rather than stand aside when the time comes for us to act. Studies find that despite having the least, communities like ours are where you are most likely to find people more social, face to face, more likely to lend a few bob to an acquaintance outside of our family, more willing to befriend others rather than retreat into our own homes.
“From my vantage point as a councillor and MP representing the people of Castle Ward at all levels, I have learnt that true power, true control, can only ever come from within, and I am fed up of fighting against politico’s for votes rather than fighting alongside the community for real change.
“I left the Labour Party, and then discovered that really it had left me, I have battled on as an Independent to try to make a difference for local people and have had some successes, but now it is time to truly give the power back to the people.
“For this reason, recently the local Green Party and myself have been holding discussions as to how we might join forces and together offer a real alternative to Castle Ward’s voters and non voters alike,
I have now joined the Green Party as a statement of my commitment to them, they in return have acknowledged my long standing political independence and agreed that we should now both campaign together locally under an “INDEPENDENT GREEN’ banner.
Interestingly enough, the Green Party is the only Party in the UK which you can be a member of and yet still stand at an election as an Independent (but not against an official Green candidate). I have chosen to campaign and as an Independent Green and proudly display the Green Party Logo on the ballot paper.”