Labour candidate for Chorlton by-election blanks on simple climate pledges

Many residents of Chorlton will have noticed an intense by-election campaign largely fought between Lib Dem, Labour and Green party candidates – the full candidate list, including the Women’s Equality Party, is here. Much of the election has focused on Saving Ryebank Fields, about which candidates have given written statements to local campaigners (scroll down their twitter feed to view). 

The vote is on November 18th. On November 16th, Labour supporters delivered leaflets about the climate emergency claiming that their candidate, Mathew Benham, wants to organise a Chorlton Climate Summit if elected. 

But if Benham wins, will a Chorlton Climate Summit be honest? Will it involve leadership? And will it provide scrutiny?  

We repeatedly asked want-to-be-councillor Benham if he supports three simple pledges about the climate emergency. These are about honesty, leadership and scrutiny. We asked on twitter, where Benham is active. We asked by email. We asked by text message. On each occasion, no reply.

These messages came from a Chorlton ward resident. Is blanking residents who ask simple questions about climate change a way to ‘bring residents together’ as he promises to do? 

November 16th leaflet to residents promising to bring them together for a climate summit. But no reply to a resident asking questions about their position on honesty, scrutiny and leadership for the climate emergency.

The Lib Dem candidate Rosie Hughes and Green Party candidate Simon Milner-Edwards have both indicated support for the three pledges.

On this occasion we did not contact the Women’s Equality Party, but we note that they proved supportive of these climate pledges during the May 2021 election campaigns. 

Climate Emergency Manchester is not party political and not partisan, but we do think it important that the climate emergency is taken seriously during local elections.

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