We stand with Manchester

Our thoughts today are with the victims of the attack in Manchester and anyone affected by this dreadful atrocity.

This is an awful tragedy, but it also inspiring to see the reaction of our emergency services and the people of Manchester #WeStandTogether

Meeting with the General Election Candidates

On Wednesday 24th May, West Berkshire Stronger Together will be meeting with candidates for the Newbury Constituency in the General Election.

The public meeting will take place at 7pm in the Parish Room of St John’s Church Newbury.

The following candidates have confirmed that they will be attending:

  • Alex Skirvin – Labour Party
  • David Yates – Apolitical Group
  • Judith Bunting – Liberal Democrats
  • Paul Field – Green Party

Richard Benyon was invited to the event, but declined the invitation advising that he was only attending events organised by independent organisations. As a cross-party group, containing members of all political parties and none, we are disappointed not to qualify as an ‘independent’ organisation in Mr Benyon’s eyes.

However, those attending will be able to ask questions of the candidate’s present on the issues that matter to local people in the general election.

If you would like to come, please comment below so that we have an idea of numbers.

Back Benyon to back Brexit

An article in Newbury Weekly News online today confirms that UKIP are not standing a candidate in Newbury constituency in the 2017 General Election.

Instead they are urging their voters to back Richard Benyon on 8 June in order to back Brexit.

Chairman of UKIP Newbury, Roy Tubb, is quoted as saying:“We suggest … that UKIP supporters consider voting for Richard Benyon, if only to increase the chance of the referendum result being properly implemented.”

In response, Mr Benyon suggests they are not fielding a candidate because UKIP have no one who will stand, but, as the preferred candidate for right-wing Leave voters, how can Mr Benyon represent those who voted Remain?

Mr Benyon has previously said he will use the Remain vote in West Berkshire to lobby the Prime Minister for a better deal with the EU. However, Mrs May seems incapable of taking advice from her cabinet, let alone her backbenchers.

As there is little evidence that he has ever voted against his party, it seems clear that a vote for Benyon is a vote for a hard Tory Brexit that will leave us all worse off.

Happy Europe Day

In the New European today, Stephen Dorrell published an article to mark the 67th Europe Day. He explains:

‘On May 9, 1950 Robert Schuman made a speech as French Foreign Minister which initiated the development of the institutions which became the European Union. His objective was to begin the process of integrating the economic and political interests of member states of a new European Coal and Steel Community so that war between them became “not merely unthinkable but materially impossible”’

Keeping that objective as both a priority and a reality is why many people voted Remain in June 2016, including one of our members.

What are your reflections about our current relationship with our European neighbours on Europe Day?