Who’s Who of candidates for today’s European elections

PUBLISHED: 17:50 03 June 2009 | UPDATED: 11:27 12 August 2010

NINE politicians are due to be elected to represent London in the European Parliament at polling booths today. Members of European Parliament (MEPs) will sit amongst some 785 MEPS in Strasbourg to vote on issues involving workers rights, animal welfare,

NINE politicians are due to be elected to represent London in the European Parliament at polling booths today. Members of European Parliament (MEPs) will sit amongst some 785 MEPS in Strasbourg to vote on issues involving workers' rights, animal welfare, the environment and international trade. The European Parliament affects regulations on food, pollution, health services abroad and recently passed a ban on roaming mobile phone charges. Thirteen parties have fielded eight candidates to represent London, alongside six independent candidates.

Labour: Serving London MEP Claude Moraes said: "Our policies are left of centre and we strive for fairness and environmental issues.

"We ask the most questions on pollution in London and we are keen to see new temporary agency workers rights.

"We want to end 'Rip-off Britain', and despite the Vodaphone claiming credit for stopping roaming charges, it was an EU initiative we voted for that banned it.

"We differ from the Tories in that I think they are softer on environmental targets and routinely vote against anti-discrimination issues which is a big issue in London."

Conservative: MEP Dr Charles Tannock said: "We are the only mainstream party committed to a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon if it is not yet ratified and if we are elected to government next year, we will let the people of Britain decide if they want more powers transferred to Brussels.

"Three Conservative MEPs have been working hard to ensure the promotion and protection of the interests of London and Britain in Europe and not the other way round.

"MEPs are responsible for amending or rejecting 80 per cent of all EU law which in turn is responsible for 60 per cent of UK law.

"The European Union looms ever larger in our lives, whether we like it or not."

UKIP: A spokesman for UKIP said: "UKIP does not recognise the legitimacy of the European 'Parliament' to legislate over the British people. Instead it uses its seats purely to further the cause of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU.

"There are two other main reasons for UKIP taking part in the elections: to reject the European Constitution and to reject British entry to a single currency."

London Lib Dem MEP Sarah Ludford says she is an active campaigner on the issue of crime. She attended the 'Not Another Drop' march against gun crime in London. Her work in the European Parliament helped introduce the European Arrest Warrant, making it easier to bring criminals to justice.

A spokesman for the party said: "In the current tough economic climate, the Liberal Democrats know that protecting the money in your pocket is especially important. Sarah is working in the European Parliament to protect consumer rights, including lowering mobile phone charges on the continent and fighting cross-border fraudsters."

The Green Party said: "Our European Election manifesto sets out a plan for creating one million jobs through investment in renewable energy, housing, public transport and social care.

"We call this the Green New Deal - an approach to the economy that puts Britain firmly on the road to recovery and also addresses the climate crisis.

"This includes breaking up the big banks, a massive clampdown on tax avoidance to generate £10 billion in revenue, bringing in energy efficiency measures for UK homes, schools and hospitals to create 80,000 jobs, free social care for the elderly to create 60,000 jobs and an increase in electricity from renewable sources."

Onay Kasab, Greenwich Unison secretary, said: "This election gives all of us the first electoral opportunity to tell the bankers, fat cat bosses and politicians that we will not pay for the economic crisis that they created.

"We are campaigning against privatisation, low pay, unemployment, pay cuts, cuts to public services and school closures.

"EU directives and the Lisbon Treaty will greatly accelerate attacks on our services such as the NHS and the Post Office.

"We are in favour of greater international co-operation, but we are against the EU because it priorities the needs of big business over us and our communities."

A spokesman said: "The Socialist Labour Party is committed to Britain's complete withdrawal from the European Union which has been responsible for the destruction of our steel, coal, shipbuilding, engineering and motor car industries.

"The European Union's 'free market' policy means the unrestricted movement of capital and labour, which has had dire consequences for people and jobs in Britain and throughout Europe.

"Britain is now controlled by bureaucrats in Brussels whose policies have led to the privatisation of our rail, electricity, gas and water, and now threaten to sell off our postal service."

The Libertas manifesto reads: "Libertas wants to change to make Europe better for you.

"Libertas wants democracy: not one European Union law should be passed without a positive vote in the European Parliament.

"Libertas wants accountability: any person who has the power to decide on a law must be accountable at the ballot box.

"Libertas wants transparency: without good reason to do so otherwise, all law making must be done in public.

"Libertas wants a strong Treaty: The Lisbon Treaty would ensure that those who govern Europe are even less accountable to the people than they are now. Europe needs a short and readable basic treaty, no longer than 25 pages."

"The Jury Team is a coalition of independent candidates united by a series of principles of good governance," a spokesman said.

"These principles are designed to promote the values of democracy, accountability and transparency.

"If elected we would work to increase these values in Europe. We have each had a career outside of politics, giving us real world experience to bring to policy discussion in Brussels.

"As independents, we categorically would not submit to the will of any party; instead, we would vote on every issue according to our respective consciences and the will of our constituents."

English Democrats said the party is campaigning for an immediate referendum on the country's relationship with the European Union.

The spokesman added: "This will include the option of joining the European Free Trade Association. They are also campaigning for equal devolution for England with a Parliament for England, First Minister and Government with at least the same powers as the Scottish Ones.

"England is the most densely populated country in Europe, England's population density, now at 1,023 people per square mile is already twice that of Germany and four times that of France, mass immigration must be ended."

It said: "There must be recognition that Christianity brought Europe the freedom, culture and values that we must return to. Jobs, the developing world and the climate are paramount.

"We'll end debt-based growth and move away from a carbon-based economy. We need to open EU markets to help end global poverty and we'll tackle growing social division. Full protection of the law should count for all human life from conception until natural death. We must end secrecy and corruption in the European Union to bring transparency and openness and reform the accounting system and tackle financial abuses."

"All politicians assume that capitalism is the only game in town, although they may criticise features of its unacceptable face, such as greedy bankers," a spokesman said. "They defend a society in which we, the majority of the population, must sell our capacity to work to the tiny handful who own most of the wealth.

"The Socialist Party urges a truly democratic society in which people take all the decisions that affect them.

Socialist society would consequently mean the end of buying, selling and exchange, an end to borders and frontiers, an end to organised violence and coercion, waste, want and war."

Bexley resident Michael Barnbrook said: "The British National Party stands for withdrawal from the European Union, which currently costs us £43 million a day.

"We are pledged to ensure that our old folk are able to live in comfortable homes and will restore the earnings link with pensions. Elderly people should not have to sell their homes to pay for care.

"We call for an immediate halt to all further immigration and the immediate deportation of criminal and illegal immigrants.

"We would cut fuel tax, raise motorway speed limits and ban hidden speed cameras.

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