THE GREEN party have stood down one of their York candidates, to make sure they do not split the “progressive” vote and let in a Conservative MP.

This morning Andy D’Agorne – who is already a Green councillor - withdrew his candidacy in York Central.

Cllr D’Agorne said they were stopping short of endorsing Labour candidate Rachael Maskell, but added it was clear the Green’s policies were closer to hers than any of the alternatives.

He added: “We have taken our own decision about what we think is best, as a party.

“If we get a Tory MP as a result of the opposition vote being split that wouldn’t suit our purposes – it’s the last thing we would want.”

Cllr D’Agorne said they had tried to set up progressive alliances in both seats, but talks had fallen down in York Outer when it became clear Labour and the Lib Dems could not agree.

He added: “This has been a very difficult decision - particularly in view of the fact that Green candidate, Jonathan Tyler, got 10 per cent of the vote last time in York Central, but we have decided that it is the right thing to do in order to play our part in securing as many progressive MPs in Parliament as possible and to oppose this deeply damaging and divisive Tory Government.

“I know this will disappoint some of our supporters and please others, but we feel that in the current circumstances, when the future of our country is at stake, this is the right course of action.

“The Greens have taken the lead nationally and in York to try to bring about progressive alliances and it is disappointing that largely the other parties have not stepped up to the challenge. The fact that this difficult decision is necessary is a reflection of the lack of a proportional voting system in which everyone can see that their vote really does count.”

On June 8 the party will still be standing candidates in two York council by-elections, and in the York Outer constituency.