5:00pm Thursday 29th May 2014
On May 22 this year, 211,706 people voted Green across South East England and returned me to Brussels as a Green MEP for the region.
At this election voters had a stark choice. On the one hand you’ve got four political parties, the Lib Dems, Labour, Tories and UKIP, occupying a very narrow part of the political spectrum – offering you mildly different shades of business as usual.
On the other hand voters had a chance to re-elect me as a Green MEP who will fight their corner in Brussels.
Let’s be clear. The other four political parties are increasingly sounding like one another.
You won’t hear Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband, Nigel Farage or David Cameron take a stand against fracking, or pledge to get rid of nuclear weapons.
You won’t see them sticking up for people who are struggling to get by as benefits are cut, or for the thousands of young people across the South East who are struggling to find work that pays a decent wage.
And you’ll find all of them repeating tired old myths around immigration.
The Green Party is different. We want to build an economy that works for the common good, not for private profit. We want clean energy from renewables, not dirty fossil fuels that are causing climate change.
We want Europe to work for everyone, not just those at the top.
That’s why I’ll continue to use my time as your MEP to win a cap on bonuses for millionaire bankers, and to campaign against cuts to the services that millions of people rely on.
Sunday night's count at the Town Hall, Oxford
It’s why I’ve been defending our countryside from fracking and pushing for affordable publically owned railways. Greens are also at the forefront of protecting animals across the continent.
In Europe, Greens have been at the forefront of pushing for changes to make the EU more accountable to you. But we’re under no illusions about the EU. It’s not serving people in the way it should.
Greens want to make radical changes to the European Union, to make it more accountable to you, and to end a culture of serving the interests of big business. We want unelected bureaucrats to have less power, and you, the people who live in Europe, to have more of a say in what happens in Brussels.
Ultimately Greens believe that we’re better in Europe than out.
But unlike the Lib Dems or Labour, we believe that the people of the UK have a right to have their say on the issue.
That’s why we’re saying ‘yes’ to a referendum, and ‘yes’ to staying in the EU.
We need the EU to protect workers from a race to the bottom on wages and rights.
We need the EU because problems like air pollution don’t respect national borders.
And we need Europe because it gives easy access to a large market for small business in the United Kingdom.
On May 22 you had a choice. You could have voted for one of the four parties who offer different shades of business as usual. But thousands of you voted for real change.
Greens in the European Parliament are standing up for jobs that you can build a life on.
We’re defending our environment, cleaning up the air that we breathe and the seas that surround our country.
We’re saying ‘no’ to fracking and ‘yes’ to clean energy and well insulated warm homes. Ultimately a vote for the Green Party at the European Elections was a vote for an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.
Thanks to those who voted for me. I’ll be working my hardest for every single one of my constituents.
© Copyright 2001-2015 Newsquest Media Group