“Stringer Madness”: why has Labour backed a climate denier as its candidate in North Manchester?

In Blackley and Middleton South a vote for Labour will be a vote for a climate inaction

Amid all the election noise, you may have missed that the Constituency Labour Party for the newly formed Blackley and Middleton South area has just selected as its candidate Graham Stringer MP, the 74-year old notorious peddler of climate denialist viewpoints, and opposer of policies that seek to reduce planet-heating carbon emissions.

Stringer is a trustee of the dark-money funded Global Warming Policy Foundation ‘think tank’ that has promoted climate change disinformation for decades, which was conspicuously omitted from their twitter post.

The rumours are that he turned down being ‘put out to pasture’ in the House of Lords, in order for the party to parachute someone else into his safe seat. In and of itself, we support MPs and locals standing up against an overbearing selection policy from HQ, no matter the party. But considering all the selection controversies there have been in the Labour Party over the past few weeks – this one has received scant  attention. Why?   Even in 2024 it seems that denying climate change is regarded as a harmless peccadillo, rather than a morally offensive viewpoint that, in aggregate, threatens trillions of lives (human, animal, plant, fungal…) worldwide.

While the Labour Party rightly deleselected someone in Rochdale for peddling an antisemitic conspiracy theory, the fact that they saw no problem in supporting Stringer’s candidacy speaks volumes about the Party’s lack of commitment to environmental causes in general and to follow up words with deeds.

So if your prospective MP is Graham Stringer or someone campaigning for him turns up at your door, ask them about his views on climate change. Ask if he still believes what he has in the past and whether he will disassociate himself from dark-money funded think tanks. You could also use your vote elsewhere…

It is also curious that in the picture posted on social media announcing his reselection he is flanked by two MCC councillors – chicken mask loving court jester Pat Karney of Harpurhey and Sam Wheeler of Piccadilly ward.  Back in 2019 councillors (including Karney and Wheeler)  unanimously declared a climate emergency. To see elected members happy to support and campaign for such a parliamentary candidate is hypocritical to put it mildly – and puts in perspective how much they actually care about or prioritise climate ahead of getting their party candidate elected.

These sort of actions show that environmental concerns still always get the shaft and will be kicked to the back of the queue when something (anything) else is deemed more important. Until this changes, bad policy and political decisions large and small (this being an example of a small one) will continue and the consequences grow ever more severe.

Hat tip to The Canary and DeSmog for covering this, stepping into the breach left by the hollowing out of local news media.

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