GREENS hailed a major coup yesterday after RMT president Peter Pinkney sensationally announced he would join the party as a parliamentary candidate.
The “lifelong socialist” becomes the most senior figure in the trade union movement to break with Labour before the general election.
Mr Pinkney will stand in the Teesside constituency of Redcar, where a bitterly divided Labour Party is seeking to seize the seat back from the Liberal Democrats.
Incumbent MP Ian Swales announced he would stand down this week and blasting British politics for “political correctness” and saying there was a “glass ceiling” preventing men getting promoted.
Mr Pinkney, who has a home in Redcar as well as his work base in London, said: “The ideas of the Greens resonated with a lot of my beliefs.
“Obviously the Greens’ commitment to bring railways back into public hands struck a chord, but also policies to invest in the NHS, build social housing, institute higher taxes for those who can afford it, and put forward progressive policies on immigration informed my decision to stand.”
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said she was “delighted” to announce Mr Pinkney’s candidacy.
“We’re giving voters a chance to vote for someone who will defend our NHS, campaign for publicly owned railways and push for decent affordable housing for everyone who needs it,” she said.
Last week 10 Labour councillors in Redcar quit the party after a number of senior figures were deselected before local elections. The grandees said they were considering standing as independents and had been approached by the Greens. firstname.lastname@example.org