Green Party brings its European campaign to Suffolk in bid for votes
PUBLISHED: 16:53 14 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:15 15 May 2019
Green Party members hoping to win a historic first European Parliament seat in the East of England have been in Suffolk to campaign for votes in next week's election.
Lead candidate for the region Dr Catherine Rowett was joined on the visit by party deputy leader Amelia Womack to meet party supporters in Stowmarket and Ipswich.
Dr Rowett, Professor of Philosophy at the UEA in Norwich, said her party's message was going down very well among voters who were looking for positive reasons to remain in the EU.
There has been talk of the "Remain" vote being split with Liberal Democrats and Change UK also appealing to people wanting to stay in the EU.
But Dr Rowett said: "We know there are other parties appealing to remain voters - but they seem to want people to vote for them because remain is the be-all and end-all.
"We want people to vote for us to remain and then to work within in the EU to bring in more environmental protection and bring in more equality across the Union. We have a positive vision for what we want to achieve in Europe."
She said that by working with sister parties across the EU, including Plaid Cymru and the Scottish Nationalist Party, their group had already made an impression on the Parliament.
With three MEPs elected at the last European Election, they were already the largest Remain group from across the UK.
Ms Womack said that under the proportional representation method of electing MEP's, the Greens only needed to increase their share of the vote in the East of England - which includes six counties - by 1% to take one of its seats.
She said: "We are asking people to vote positively for us - not to vote Green because they dislike the other parties, but to vote for us because they like what we are doing."
Both agreed that the recent protests in London had helped to raise the profile of environmental concerns and had given their campaign a boost - as had the strong showing of the party in this month's local elections which saw Green Party candidates elected to every district council in Suffolk - Ipswich Borough Council is now the only major local authority in the county without a Green councillor.