Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.Donate to our crowdfunder
The alliance also feels that it is necessary to vote against the motion. I have never believed that money is a test of a candidate's political seriousness. I differ from the Government on that fundamental issue of how one tests a candidate's political seriousness.
In a way, I am not surprised that the Government should place money higher on their list of tests than I do. My party believes that it is the breadth of support that a candidate can demonstrate which, if a test be needed, is the best test. That is why we have argued consistently for signatures.
I welcome the fact that the Government have sought to compromise and have considerably reduced the proposed increase in the deposit. I welcome also the conversion of the Labour Front Bench to the view that there should not be a deposit at all. That conversion has occurred under the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Kaufman), who has exercised a beneficent influence on his party's thinking.
Above all, I welcome openness, democracy and the opportunity to demonstrate when people are wrong and are not going to win support. I welcome the fact that the Ecology party is able to stand in elections and that we can demonstrate that the Liberal party is a far more convincing proponent of concern for the environment than that party. I welcome the fact that, when the National Front stands in elections, it is shown that it commands only minimal support. I wish those who have views to advance to stand in elections. I do not wish them to suffer under a financial penalty in their attempt to do so.