Support for the newly formed Newport Independents Party / Plaid Annibynol Casnewydd was on display as the party prepared to launch its local council election campaign, with candidates and supporters gathered at the party’s HQ.
The party, which was officially recognised by the Electoral Commission earlier in March, is hoping to stand up to 15 candidates in the forthcoming local council elections which take place 4th May.
“We have been astonished by the positive reception the party has already gained from people on the streets,” explained party leader Kevin Whitehead. “Many of our candidates and members have already started reaching out to their wards and there is a definite appetite for change from the stale national party politics that people have had to endure for so long. We are also noticing a real swell of support on social media.
“However, most tellingly, we are clearly rattling the cage of the Cosy Club at the Civic Centre. Our presence was mentioned several times in Council Leader Debbie Wilcox’s presentation to the Welsh Labour conference recently and she has gone out of her way to try and rubbish our arrival on the Newport political landscape.
“The reality is that none of the parties have a valid response to our main point that we are the only candidates that can offer true representation for the people of Newport.
“We do not operate a whip. All of our candidates are free to be guided by their wards. This is not the case with Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and other mainstream parties whose candidates have almost all signed contracts which mean they must obey their national parties before their wards if necessary.
“We have seen this time and time again where Labour, Tory and Lib Dem candidates have gone against the wishes of the very people who elected them. This has to stop. Newport needs an alternative and we are it. The Newport Independents Party is the only party which can hand back control of Newport to the people who actually live here.”
Andrew Collingbourne, co-founder and treasurer of the Newport Independents Party added “It’s wonderful to see so much support for the party. We have a very talented, dedicated and focussed team and we are very well organised. We will shortly be releasing our ‘Vision for Newport’ document which has some very strong and progressive ideas.
“Freedom from any national party politics means we have been able to develop a specific vision for the city that has been founded on what the people of Newport tell us, and that we can deliver on. We don’t make empty promises and we don’t showboat in the run-up to election day.
“We are looking forward to the election battle ahead and we are open for debate, whether that’s with electors or other candidates. In fact, we invite it.”
Issue date: Tuesday 28th March 2017