Greens row back from ‘electoral pact’ with Jeremy Corbyn
An offer by former Green leader Caroline Lucas for an electoral pact with a Corbyn-led Labour party was a "personal opinion" which will not become policy in the near future, the party insisted today.
Lucas wrote a piece in the Independent yesterday, floating the idea of "local grassroots electoral pacts" between the Greens and Corbyn.
Under the deal Green candidates would stand down in areas where it could help Labour win, as long as Corbyn backed reform of the voting system to allow the election of more Green MPs.
Writing of her enthusiasm for Labour's frontrunner, Lucas added that Corbyn's selection would be "exciting times for progressive politics", adding that she had "never felt so optimistic about a potential leader of the Labour party".
However, a Green party source told Politics.co.uk that the offer of a pact was merely Lucas' "personal opinion" and was unlikely to be adopted as formal policy in the near future.
They added that no motion for electoral pacts with Labour is due to be discussed at the party's conference next month.
"This is an idea that is forged from Caroline's personal experience in Brighton," they insisted. "It is not party policy".
However, Lucas's offer follows a recent suggestion by another senior figure in the party of a permanent "red-green" coalition between the two parties.
Writing for Politics.co.uk earlier this month, Green MEP Molly Scott Cato said her party would welcome a German-style coalition between the two parties.
"Corbynism will offer the Red; it will be enormously refreshing to at last have an opposition that will make a stand against the savagery of austerity and seek to take back key strategic industries such as the railways into public ownership," she wrote.
"But the Green part of the equation is going to be equally essential to such an alliance."
The Greens this morning released a statement distancing themselves from Lucas' and Cato's position.
"Caroline Lucas made it clear in the article that her proposal for locally agreed progressive electoral pacts is her personal view, not a Green Party position," a spokesperson told Politics.co.uk
However, they added that they remained open to "working across party lines."
"The Green Party has always [been] committed to working across party lines for a more progressive politics. Key to harnessing the potential of political pluralism is a swift move towards more proportional elections. We hope Jeremy Corbyn throws his full support behind updating our archaic voting system."