Communist Party launches election manifesto

media captionCommunist Party of Britain General Secretary Rob Griffiths on why it is standing nine candidates in the general election

The Communist Party has launched its manifesto under the slogan "Tax The Rich", with pledges to end austerity and renationalise the railways.

The 22-page document promises policies for the "millions, not millionaires" and to plug tax-avoidance loopholes.

The party, formed in 1920, is fielding nine candidates, including six who are standing against incumbent Labour MPs.

Candidate Laura-Jane Rossington, aged 18, is believed to be one of the youngest in England.

'Good reception'

The party, which has around 1,000 members, also backs leaving the European Union which it claims gives power to big business, and quitting NATO, which it says is the "greatest threat to world peace".

General Secretary Robert Griffiths, who is standing in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, told reporters in Westminster that voters on the doorstep supported many of the party's policies.

"Most of the time we are receiving a very good reception," he said. "Anti-Communist feelings are nowhere near as widespread as the general impression is given.

"The other party leaders can repeat their promises to clamp down on the tax dodgers until flying pigs come home, but they refuse to abolish the tax-haven status of some 28 British overseas territories and dependencies, from Jersey and the Isle of Man to Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands."

Mr Griffiths would like to see a Tobin tax-style levy on financial transactions in the City, meaning a tax on all payments from one currency to another.

He would also like to see a "modest" 2% wealth tax on the richest one-tenth of the population.

Miss Rossington, an A-level student standing in Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, called for an end to minimum wage "discrimination" against young people and "real equality" for women.

Mr Griffiths said his party would not want to jeopardise a Labour victory, but its candidates were standing in areas where there were active Communist members and supporters.

The candidates for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney are:

  • Eddy Blanche (Independent)
  • Bob Griffin (Liberal Democrat)
  • Robert Griffiths (Communist Party of Britain)
  • Gerald Jones (Labour)
  • Rhayna Mann (Plaid Cymru)
  • Elspeth Parris (Green)
  • Bill Rees (Conservative)
  • David Rowlands (UKIP)

The candidates for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport are:

  • Libby Brown (Green)
  • Oliver Colvile (Conservative)
  • Roy Kettle (UKIP)
  • Luke Pollard (Labour)
  • Graham Reed (Liberal Democrat)
  • Laura-Jane Rossington (Communist Party of Britain)

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