Rochdale by-election: Greens call on members to vote for independent candidate Mark Coleman "who holds same values as us" after denouncing own candidate

Date published: 19 February 2024

The Rochdale Green Party is calling on its supporters to back an independent candidate in this month’s by-election, after withdrawing support for its own candidate.

The party withdrew support for Guy Otten on 7 February, after old social media posts showed him making reference to the Muslim faith and Gaza conflict in posts from 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Mr Otten is not the only candidate to not be endorsed by his party, as just days later, the Labour Party also withdrew support for their candidate, Azhar Ali, after he alleged that Israel deliberately allowed 7 October terrorist attack.

Whereas Mr Ali is understood to have been suspended by Labour, Mr Otten is understood to have not been kicked out of the Green Party.

Due to the chaos of not one, but two national parties ending support for their candidates, the Rochdale Green Party is now calling on its supporters to vote for Reverend Mark Coleman, “who holds the same values.”

The endorsement of an independent candidate is the second time the Greens have backed someone outside the party, as it revealed last year that it would be backing an independent candidate – Chris Furlong – for the new Heywood County seat in the next general election.

The Rochdale by-election will be held on 29 February 2024, whilst the next general election – which will see people across the UK vote for over 600 MPs and thus the government – is scheduled to be held no later than 28 January 2025.

Steve Sharp, secretary of Rochdale Green Party, said: “On behalf of the Rochdale Green Party,I am delighted to endorse Mark Coleman.

“Mark is the only candidate in the upcoming election who holds the same values as ourselves. Social justice, fairness, equality and a sustainable future for all.

“I hope all our supporters will vote for Mark to serve Rochdale as our next MP.”

Rev Coleman said: “I'm delighted that the Green Party has decided to support me, we care about the same things.

“We need to send a message, that politics is failing us, and that people coming together can be trusted to find better solutions. That's what we need in Rochdale and across the UK.

“I invite those who had been going to vote or campaign for the Labour Party to demonstrate their commitment to social justice, to intergenerational justice, to end genocide, to vote for me and vote for change."

Mark's election pitch can be read on the election page of Rochdale Online, here:

Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Rochdale Online and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Rochdale Online offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer (event listings and free community websites for example), please consider supporting us financially and help Rochdale Online to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Rochdale Online