Greens seeking a by-election pledge

DR Rupert Read, the Green Party candidate in the Norwich North by-election, has put forward and signed a voluntary pledge to keep the campaign clean and is challenging candidates of other parties to join him.

Graham Dines

DR Rupert Read, the Green Party candidate in the Norwich North by-election, has put forward and signed a voluntary pledge to keep the campaign clean and is challenging candidates of other parties to join him.

Chloe Smith, who is fighting the seat for the Conservatives, has agreed to follow suit, but the Greens are waiting for a response from Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Dr Read said today: “If politicians are going to mean what they say about cleaning up politics, then it is vital to begin with cleaning up political campaigning. Citizens need to be able to trust what politicians say.


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“I have clear disagreements on important issues with the Conservatives, and other parties. A clean campaign is about having a constructive debate on the issues between the candidates and ensuring that the issues are not obscured by lies, personal attacks and mud-throwing.

“I am impressed with the Conservatives' willingness to join the pledge for a clean campaign in Norwich North. It is not always easy for parties to come together and agree on something. I hope this is possible with this pledge. I await keenly the response of other parties now and hope everyone will sign up to the pledge.”

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The pledge promises that signatories will tell only the truth about the achievements of their party, make only reasonable promises and stick to campaigning on issues that concern the people of Norwich North without resorting to personal attacks.

Among the promises which candidates who sign the pledge have agreed are, if elected, to publish online details of all of personal and office expenses incurred as an MP, to publish online details of all donations of more than �1,000, in line with Electoral Commission rules, to appoint a local firm of auditors to approve expenses accounts at the end of every financial year, to open up the unedited expenses claims to local newspapers at the end of every financial year, never to claim for food, furniture or household goods, and to meet all tax liabilities such as stamp duty without claiming them from the taxpayer.

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