Green Party Co-Leader Jonathan Bartley has laid into the Conservatives in a keynote speech at the Party’s conference in Harrogate today. Slamming Government policy on everything from migration to the arms industry and from Brexit to climate change, Bartley labelled the Conservative Party as having “rot at its core”.
He went on to claim that the Government “sells weapons to human rights abusers” and has “turned doctors and teachers into border guards”, in addition to calling the UK’s migrant detention centres “a stain on our nation’s conscience and a hallmark of this Government’s cruelty”.
His speech was particularly damning of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who Bartley lambasted as a “particular type of poison”. The speech made reference to a long line of comments Johnson has made, including racist statements about Congolese and Papuan people, as well as recent words about Sirte becoming the “new Dubai” once it had made sure to “clear the dead bodies away”.
Bartley finished his attack on Johnson by calling for his sacking, stating: “It’s time the Conservative Party took collective responsibility for this human wrecking ball and kicked him out of the Cabinet.”
Elsewhere in the speech, Bartley argued that the Greens will be “the most influential Party in 21st century politics” and iterated a number of key Green policies, including scrapping SATs tests, abolishing OFSTED, supporting free movement of people within Europe, replacing Universal Credit with a Universal Basic Income and reframing the Department of International Development into a Department for Peace and Security.
While the attacks on the sitting Government were the most forthright, the Green Party’s conference has also seen bitter words towards the Labour Party. Bartley today claimed that the Greens are “the only Party of real change”, echoing Caroline Lucas’ comments in her introduction to his speech, in which she criticised Labour’s position on voting reform, stating “no party can claim to be for the many, when they deny the many a meaningful vote”.
The Green Party of England and Wales has been meeting for its biennial conference in Harrogate this weekend, under the banner of “speaking truth to power”.