Ladies and gentlemen, in case you have not yet heard, the results of local by-elections from yesterday featuring Green candidates were as follows:
Herefordshire Council, Ledbury: It's Our County (allied to Greens in Herefordshire): 835 (51.6%), Conservative 618 (38.2%), UKIP 166 (10.3%).
Herefordshire Council, Leominster South: Green 384 (37.9%), Conservative 222 (21.9%), Independent 198 (19.5%), UKIP 111 (10.9%), Labour 99 (9.8%).
King's Lynn and West Norfolk District Council, Airfield: Conservative 305 (45.7%), UKIP 233 (34.9%), Green 72 (10.8%), Labour 57 (8.5%).
Oxford City Council, Cowley: Labour 512 (39.4%), Green 269 (20.7%), Artwell 257 (19.8%), Conservative 152 (11.7%), UKIP 72 (5.5%), Liberal Democrat 39 (3.0%).
Redditch District Council, Church Hill: Lab 600 (43.9%), Con 339 (24.8%), UKIP 332 (24.3%), Lib Dem 40 (2.9%), Green 34 (2.5%), Independent A 13 (1.0%), Independent W 9 (0.7%).
The most momentous of these local by-elections was in Leominster South-we Greens worked hard to win it, and we won by a significant margin. Our win there travelled far and wide across Twitter even made it as far as BBC News! The It's Our County group, who we Greens support in Herefordshire, also won Ledbury, taking control of Herefordshire Council away from the Conservatives, who have had dominance in much of Herefordshire for decades upon decades.
Unfortunately on the same day, we Greens lost the seat of Airfield we had to defend following the resignation of our councillor there, Lori Allen-somehow, we only finished a poor third. We did well in Cowley over in Oxford with long-serving activist Hazel Dawe but still only finished second-however, we are going in the right direction because the swing was from Labour to us and not the other way around.
The Church Hill, Redditch local by-election was notorious because the previous UKIP councillor in that ward had been expelled from UKIP over racist comments after just five days as a councillor- he resigned shortly afterwards. This set of local by-elections is hinting of the tide thankfully turning against UKIP-UKIP flopped badly in Cowley, did poorly in the Herefordshire by-elections, and only finished third in the Church Hill seat they had gained-they were also pushed down into third in the local by-election of Mabe, Perranarworthal and St. Gluvias in Cornwall, which they won last year by just 3 votes.
On other notes, I would like to say that if there are demonstrations in solidarity with the people of Gaza, who have been brutally attacked by Israeli forces (the Israelis have gone as far as bombing Gaza hospitals which had comatose and severely injured children inside) coming up in your area, please attend them or if you cannot, send messages of support. There will be a pro-Gaza rally in London tomorrow, starting from Downing Street at midday on Saturday 19th.
I finally wish to say that I oppose the proposed Assisted Dying Bill (as it has become known) for several important reasons. One, it violates the absolution of a right to life, which I believe must be protected as much as possible, whether the life is that of a human or an animal. Two, we should focus on helping people with disabilities live, not die-this bill undermines the rights and wishes of people with severe disabilities. And three, people who are terminally ill already get sufficient help with their last days on earth-this bill is unnecessary.