Move an important milestone in the party’s history
Green Party member Jane Smith has switched political parties to become the first UK representative of the Animal Welfare Party (AWP).
Announcing her decision on Monday (4 September) Smith, a serving councillor on Alsager Town Council, said that she made the decision because she believes it is important ‘that we begin to acknowledge and address the inherent unfairness of our human-centric decision making bodies.’
“Although the step I take today may appear small, I believe it is of huge symbolic significance,” she said. “We share our world and our natural resources with so many other species and it is only right and fair that those other animals and their habitats are properly represented and considered in our decision making.”
Established 10 years ago, the AWP is based on the highly successful Dutch ‘Party for Animals’, which holds five seats in the Dutch House of Representatives.
In May 2016, AWP contested the Northern Ireland and Scottish Parliament elections for the first time, in addition to contesting the London Assembly Elections in which the party won 25,810 votes (1%).
In this years’ General Election, AWP contested three London constituencies, while veterinary surgeon and professor of animal welfare Andrew Knight stood for AWP in Maidenhead.
Responding to Smith’s move to AWP, party leader Vanessa Hudson said: “The UK has a proud history of thought leadership in animal welfare and it’s high time animals had dedicated representatives in our decision making bodies. Only that way can their needs and interests begin to be properly protected. With today’s news, AWP takes its first steps to joining our sister parties in the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Australia who have already achieved that for animals.”
“We are delighted that Jane has joined us enabling the UK to take this important step.’ Hudson continued, “We welcome her into our party and look forward to supporting her continued good work for people, animals and the environment in Alsager and beyond.”
Image (C) Reetsyn8/Wikimedia