Burning Pink party to field candidates for Ipswich elections

L-R: Sue Hagley, Jennifer McCarthy and Tina Smith are all standing in May's council elections in Ipswich

L-R: Sue Hagley, Jennifer McCarthy and Tina Smith are all standing in May's council elections in Ipswich - Credit: Burning Pink

New political party Burning Pink – who wish to replace government with citizens' assemblies – is putting three candidates forward in next month's Ipswich elections.

Sue Hagley and Jennifer McCarthy are set to stand in the Ipswich Borough Council elections in St Margaret's Ward and Westgate Ward respectively, while Tina Smith will stand in the St Margaret's and Westgate Division for Suffolk County Council.

The party, formed in 2020, is jointly-led by Extinction Rebellion co-founder Roger Hallam – with its main aim being to replace governments with "citizens' assemblies", which are forums where community members and experts discuss important issues.

Both Sue Hagley and Tina Smith are facing trial in July over a graffiti attack on Ipswich Borough Council's Grafton House office earlier this year. They both deny the charges.

Sue Hagley, a grandmother from Ipswich, said she believes a citizens' assembly in Ipswich could help to tackle its air pollution problems and help to create a zero-carbon town.

Ms Hagley said she believes "ordinary people can come up with extraordinary things", adding: "We don't want top-down commands any more, we want people power."

Tina Smith, a mechanic from Woodbridge, said she wanted to get involved in politics as the first-past-the-post voting system makes "an absolute mockery of democracy".

She said: "Democracy should be more than just a tick-box exercise every few years. People should be at the heart of the decision-making process, it shouldn't be left to one person to speak for their constituents.

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"That is why I'm standing for the Burning Pink party; my one policy is to enact citizens' assemblies so that the people get to say what the policies will be.

"If I am elected I will hold community meet-ups so I can give power back to the people, where it belongs."

Jennifer McCarthy, a student from Ipswich, said she is "sick" of politicians.

She said: "Beyond filling in objections to planning applications that are granted anyway, with no feedback given, I've found it incredibly difficult and confusing to engage with local politics.

"Then Burning Pink came along with this idea of citizens' assemblies and people's assemblies and it just makes so much sense."

Also standing in the elections:

Ipswich Borough Council

St Margaret's: Sue Hagley (BPP), Oliver Holmes (LD)*, Stefan Long (L), Debbie Richards (C), Kirsty Wilmot (G)

Westgate: Carole Jones (L)*, John Mann (G), Jennifer McCarthy (BPP), Katherine West (C), Robin Whitmore (LD)

Suffolk County Council

St Margaret's & Westgate (two seats): Assis Carreiro (L), Oliver Holmes (LD), Inga Lockington (LD)*, Stefan Long (L), Debbie Richard (C), Tina Smith (BPP), Kirsty Wilmot (G)

Key: C – Conservative, L – Labour, LD – Liberal Democrats, G – Green Party, BPP - Burning Pink Party.
The asterisk denotes a sitting councillor in that authority.