Labour and Green leaders visit Oxford ahead of local elections

Party leaders have been visiting Oxford to rally residents’ support in the lead up to local council elections next month.

It was Jeremy Corbyn’s first trip to the city since he was elected as leader of the Labour Party in September.

He took to the streets on Friday, knocking on doors to garner support for local councillors, before attending a rally at Wesley Memorial Church in New Inn Hall Street.

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett visited on Saturday in support of the three Green Oxford city councillors gunning for re-election in May.

During the morning Ms Bennett canvassed in central Oxford and held a question and answer session at East Oxford Community Centre in Princes Street.

Speaking after campaigning in Oxford, Mr Corbyn said: “My message for elections this May is clear: Labour is the best protection for your community against Tory cuts.

“In Oxford and across the country, on issues such as housing, low pay, health and crime, the Tories are simply standing by.”

Oxfordshire residents will go to the polls on Thursday, May 5 to elect district or city councillors and their Police and Crime Commissioner.

Labour MP for Oxford East, Andrew Smith, said: “Since his election Jeremy has consistently spoken up on the issues that matter. It was great to have him here in Oxford.”

Also speaking at the memorial church was Labour’s candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner, Laetisia Carter, a West Oxfordshire district councillor for Chipping Norton.

Ms Bennett was also promoting five candidates hoping to gain seats.

“We had a phenomenally supportive response from people.”Green Party councillor on Oxford City Council, Elise Benjamin, said: “It was fantastic to have her here.  She’s incredibly supportive and understands the importance of local councillors.

While addressing supporters Ms Bennett said: “We’re hoping to make history by making the Green Party the official opposition of Oxford City Council.

“Oxford has always been a natural stronghold for the Green Party. We’ve got the opportunity with these elections to turn Green surge of last year into Green seats.”