Letter of Resignation
13 February 2004
To: Salma Yaqoob, John Rees and Ken Loach,
The Respect Coalition
Dear Salma, John and Ken,
I am sorry to say that I am resigning from the Respect Coalition. I have taken this decision because, as yesterday’s press release makes clear, relations between Respect and the Greens appear to have broken down completely. I’m not apportioning blame for this: I recognise that it has been difficult for both sides to find a means of working together. But it puts me in an impossible position. I cannot continue to belong to a party which stands against the Greens in the European elections, particularly as this might endanger the seats of two of the best elected representatives in Britain: Caroline Lucas and Jean Lambert.
I joined Respect in the hope that we could build a genuine coalition of progressive forces in Britain. I cannot think of a more urgent or more necessary task. At present, British politics is being dragged ever further to the right. We desperately need a coherent, effective movement which will start to drag it back. I hope very much that one day Respect and the Greens can unite to become that force. If that happens, I would be happy to rejoin the coalition. Until it does I will have to stand back. But, if you think it will be helpful, I will continue to try to persuade both sides to find a means of working together.
I recognise and respect the work and energy you have put into this party, and I wish you all success in building a truly inclusive coalition which can change the face of British politics.