“With the election on the horizon, there’s never been a better time for Labour to prove itself by taking bold action and implementing our well-researched and entirely reasonable demands.”Molly Shelton, Labour Be Bold National Campaign Organiser
Local climate activists from Green New Deal Rising staged a fourth ‘sit-out’ in front of Ian Murray’s HQ to demand bolder climate commitments from Labour ahead of the next General Election.
Beginning at 2pm Friday, young climate activists in Edinburgh gathered again outside of Ian Murray’s constituency office, urging them to commit to doing more in the face of the Climate and Ecological Emergency. The group criticised the Labour Party’s failure to adequately respond to repeated calls from young people for rapid decarbonisation, a just transition to a low emissions economy and investment in green jobs. Ian Murray is Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland in Keir Starmer’s Shadow Cabinet.
Green New Deal Rising called and emailed Ian Murray’s office ahead of Friday’s protests, asking to discuss whether he will back a Green New Deal. On Fridays, Parliament doesn’t sit, allowing MPs time to work in their constituencies. The group confirmed an appointment with Murray by email, and stopped by his office last week to confirm it in person. The group look forward to meeting with Murray, but are continuing to do sit-outs until the meeting and until Labour MPs back the Green New Deal.
The group stayed outside his office this afternoon for the fourth week in a row, holding placards and engaging with Murray’s other constituents, and were met with great support from passers by. “Clearly, there is an appetite in his constituency for Labour to be bolder on their climate policies”, Calum Hodgson from the group said, after speaking with community members in the area. “In a number of conversations, we were asked how people can get involved, and listened to people’s fears about Europe’s heatwave. Voters want something to vote for, and despair at the lack of bold, green leadership from Keir Starmer’s Labour”.
The protest was part of a national campaign by Green New Deal Rising pressuring the Labour Party to be bold in their manifesto pledges ahead of the next UK General Election, which must be held before December 2024. They are demanding that the Labour Party commit to passing legislation which expands public ownership, taxes wealth, delivers a green jobs guarantee and a living income, enacts a National Nature Service and makes polluters pay globally, in the first 100 days after the election.
Similar protests were also staged this Friday in London, Exeter, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Brighton, Wolverhampton, Cardiff and across the Midlands, targeting members of Keir Starmer’s Shadow Cabinet.
Calum Hodgson, a member of the group from Edinburgh said: “We are protesting because as Edinburgh’s Labour MP, we need to see Ian Murray push Labour to be bolder. Ian Murray is aware of the Green New Deal, so if he’s serious about tackling the climate crisis, we need him to stand up and speak out against the Labour Leadership’s current backsliding. The sit-out was a brilliant celebration of young people’s commitment to climate justice”.
Keir Starmer announced Labour’s ‘Green Industrial Strategy’ earlier this year, but has already U-turned on a number of issues in response to fossil fuel lobbying, by reneging on his commitment to prevent new North Sea oil fields from opening and delaying the timing of green investment. Polls consistently show that the electorate are in favour of more action on environmental issues as well as public ownership.
National campaign organiser Molly Shelton said “With broad support across the UK for a Green New Deal, Labour is failing voters and refusing to show leadership on climate. We need to rapidly reduce emissions, tax polluters and create millions of good, unioned, green jobs. With the election on the horizon, there’s never been a better time for Labour to prove itself by taking bold action and implementing our well-researched and entirely reasonable demands.”
The group says they will return to Ian Murray’s office again next Friday, until he pledges support for a Green New Deal.
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