Rochdale by-election: Green Party announces Guy Otten as its Parliamentary candidate

Date published: 01 February 2024

Guy Otten has been named as the Green Party’s Parliamentary candidate for Rochdale in the upcoming by-election on 29 February.

A retired lawyer and tribunal judge, Guy lives in Littleborough with his partner and has previously stood in local elections.

He says his years as a lawyer gives him the casework experience and expertise needed to be a competent MP, and hopes to target the lack of affordable housing, the climate crisis, years of austerity and championing Rochdale in Parliament.

Guy said: “We need a great leap forward in the UK to address the various crises the borough and the country face after years of sluggish and neglectful Tory rule.

“We need to mobilise our resources to deal with the lack of affordable housings.

“The same approach is needed for the Climate Crisis. We need to mobilise to create quality jobs to urgently develop a carbon-free future.

“The Tories have deliberately imposed increasing austerity and poverty on ordinary people during the last 13 years. Many of us struggle to pay our bills. Many of us also face increasing rent, mortgage costs and management company bills.

“At the same time, the Tories have rolled back on net zero and environmental protections. Routinely they have taken decisions based on their ‘small state’ philosophy, instead of thinking about people struggling to pay their bills and needing decent public services to have a reasonable lifestyle. We need to stop this decline!

“Happily, the solution to many of these problems is at hand. If elected to Government, the Green Party will rejuvenate the economy by creating large numbers of new quality eco jobs; we will run the economy in a caring way with the needs of ordinary people in mind and we will restore environmental protections

“The same goes in other areas, but it will cost money. The Green Party wants the richer among us to pay a fairer share of making our country a good place to live – something they too will benefit from.”

The Green Party has also demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Of Gaza, Guy said: “The world is horrified by the slaughter, destruction and suffering in Gaza right now, and the Green party demands an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, and the restoration of humanitarian supplies, followed by serious, internationally supported negotiations which must achieve a lasting and just peace.

“This settlement must respect the legitimate needs and interests of all those living in Israel/Palestine.”

Guy is a volunteer with various groups including the Rochdale charity Caring and Sharing, the Littleborough Toad Patrol and serves as a volunteer Humanist chaplain at Rochdale’s Birch Hill psychiatric unit.  

An avid reader who belongs to two book clubs, Guy is also a member of the trade union, Unite, and loves walking around Hollingworth Lake.

Guy attended Clare College at Cambridge University, followed by further study at Manchester University. He has been a school governor in three different schools (primary and special needs).

The father-of-four – and grandad – is also a member of the Rochdale Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education and speaks regularly to children at schools locally.

Guy added: “Rochdale has had a raw deal from central Government.

“‘Levelling Up’ is a sick joke.  Funding has been cut and the result is that we have fallen behind in comparison to some more favoured areas. I will champion Rochdale’s needs in parliament.

“Next month marks the 100th anniversary of the death of the first person, Nellie Kershaw, from asbestosis caused by production at the Turner Bros site. The site remains contaminated today.

“I am passionate about the need for green politics and solutions in the interest of everyone living, and especially of our children and grandchildren.

“This country can be happier and prosperous, and afford a quality future to our people with Green policies. I ask you to vote Green to give hope to our children.”

The by-election will take place on 29 February, having been triggered by the death of Sir Tony Lloyd.

Other candidates include Labour’s Azhar Ali, George Galloway, the leader of Workers Party of Great Britain, and two independents, the Reverend Mark Coleman, a long-time climate campaigner and Just Stop Oil supporter, and Billy Howarth, the founder of Parents Against Grooming UK.

The Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives and Reform UK are yet to confirm their candidates for the election.

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