8 Days Remaining

Saturday 24th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

by Luke James
Parliamentary Reporter
THE older brother of socialist  US senator Bernie Sanders has joined the contest to replace David Cameron as MP for Witney.
Larry Sanders is standing for the Greens in the October 20 by-election sparked by the former prime minister’s resignation, the party announced yesterday.
The Greens’ health spokesman said Mr Sanders, who is 82, would use the campaign in the Tory heartlands seat to raise the alarm over NHS privatisation.
He said: “We need to show that we don’t want Britain to be the most unequal country in Europe.
“We don’t want unmet health needs to increase when we already have too few doctors, nurses and hospital beds.
“We don’t want the government to impose unworkable contracts on 50,000 precious doctors when it is clear that the supposed reason for the contract, a seven-day hospital service, can’t be done at present funding.
“This is a rich, capable and decent country. We can do better.”
Although Mr Sanders hails from Brooklyn, New York, he has lived in Oxford since 1969.
He used to be a Labour Party member but left in 2001 in protest at the rightward shift under Tony Blair.
He was elected to Oxfordshire County Council in 2005 and served as the leader of its Green group until 2013.
Mr Sanders came fifth when he stood in the neighbouring Oxford West and Abingdon seat at the general election, although he did improve the Green share of the vote by 2 per cent.
Despite their high-profile candidate, the Greens’ main objective will be to achieve the 5 per cent needed to avoid losing their £500 deposit.
The Tories selected Robert Courts, a councillor and personal injury barrister, as their candidate on Thursday.
As West Oxfordshire District Council’s cabinet member for housing, Mr Courts is responsible for social housing and homelessness, but he lives on a sought-after street overlooking Blenheim Palace.
Labour has selected Duncan Enright, another West Oxfordshire councillor, who added 2,500 votes to the party’s previous tally when he took on Mr Cameron last May.
Leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he wants to make the Tories’ grammar school plans the key issue of the campaign.
Speaking after his selection this week, Mr Enright said: “This Tory government is doing immense damage to our area as they push ahead with plans to turn secondary schools in Witney into secondary moderns by bringing back the bad old days of grammar schools.”