Voters in the Old Bexley and Sidcup constituency will select their new MP tomorrow (December 2), following the tragic death of James Brokenshire. 

Former local government secretary Mr Brokenshire won the seat with a majority of almost 19,000 at the 2019 general election.

Jonathan Rooks, chairperson of local conservation charity Greener Bexley, is standing for the Green Party.

News Shopper has given the main candidates the opportunity to speak directly to readers ahead of polling day.

Jonathan Rooks - Green

Whatever they tell you about the likely outcome of this by-election, you should vote for what you believe in.

Voting Green is a clear signal to our government that our concerns are your concerns. It tells those in power what is important to you, your family and your community.

A big increase in Green votes pressures the governing parties to take environmental issues more seriously.

Like me, many want a government that not only does something about climate change, but rather leads the counter attack against the climate crisis – with urgent action and full commitment.

It is well past the time for Boris Johnson’s blustery rhetoric that changes with the wind. It is now the time for steady resolve, ambitious goals and transformative policy.

Greens advocate for the action that is necessary, rather than the actions that are easy.

This Conservative government does not deserve your vote. We cannot stand by and allow the corruption to continue.

Like the Green Party, ordinary people feel that a change to how politics is conducted is essential.

Democracy should be a method of government that benefits our communities, not simply an opportunity for Conservatives to make an easy fortune from side interests.

As a Green, I will never take money from lobbyists.

We also have the opportunity to send a signal to the council. Residents want parks protected from a Conservative council that readily builds private homes on public open space.

They want competence and proper engagement from the council in running local services, while the Conservatives have shown incompetence and lack of concern for local residents when bins went uncollected for several weeks this autumn.

As a local resident, I pressure the council to improve its performance.

With a strong Green showing at the ballot box, they will feel that pressure all the more keenly.

James Brokenshire was an honourable public servant and his passing at such a young age is deeply tragic. Nevertheless, to rubber stamp his successor without considering the signal it will send to this government would be a mistake.

We desperately need change. Old Bexley & Sidcup needs change and the country needs it. And change will only come from showing the incumbents that you won’t support them unconditionally.

I urge you to vote your conscience, for yourself, your family, your community and your future – by voting Green. I will be proud to represent you.

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