Citizens UK, the organisation that claims "It organises communities to act together" did exactly the opposite today at the Greater Manchester mayoral election hustings it organised at The Lowry, Salford Quays.
The hustings which allowed members of the public to ask questions to the Grater Manchester Mayoral candidates prior to the election which is due to be held on May 4th 2017 was organised by Citizens UK had invited candidates Andy Burnham (Labour), Sean Anstee (Conservative) and Jane Brophy (Liberal Democrat) to the event but would not allow Green party candidate Will Patterson attend the event.
The undemocratic move sparked speculation that the event’s organisers had something more sinister going on deliberately excluding the green party from the hustings in fear their candidate Will Patterson may win the election on may the 4th.
Citizens UK did not stop at excluding the Green party Mayoral candidate but took even more extreme measures of silencing the voice of the Green party by ejecting members of the audience that were Green party supporters. One member reported being forcibly removed for being a Green party member.
The Green party greater Manchester Mayoral candidate Will Patterson said "Citizens UK's stated aims of more democratic engagement are great but it's now clear that they won't live up to those aims themselves. The forcible ejection of a Green Party member from this event is an act of hostility and we will be taking this matter further."
The actions of Citizens UK have caused some serious concerns from members of the public and Green party members. Long serving Green party member and Candidate for Bolton South East in the June 8th general elections Alan Johnson said “The Greater Manchester Citizens have acted in a totally undemocratic way. This meeting was advertised as a public meeting, the only criteria was that you obtained a ticket beforehand, all this meeting did was to perpetuate the discredited two party cabal system, in this case the three party with the inclusion of the Lib-Dems. It failed to represent the broad, spectrum of political views in this country, it also excluded 4 candidates including the UKIP candidate, along with the Greens. Will Patterson is by far the best candidate with the most inclusive policies, for citizens. He wants to set up citizens assemblies right across Greater Manchester if elected.”
"People are running scared of the Green party and today's actions are simply because of a real fear that the Green Party Candidate will win" said a member of the public at the event.
The Green party have pledged to take the matter further.
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