Conservatives on Brighton & Hove City Council have slammed the ‘rank hypocrisy’ of the Green Administration over their proposals to invest £5 million of council taxpayers’ money in Barclays Bank. The proposal is contained in the Council’s Annual Investment Strategy to be agreed at the Cabinet meeting on 15th March.
Leading members of the Green Party, including Brighton Pavilion MP – Caroline Lucas – have consistently criticised Barclays for alleged tax avoidance, ‘commodity speculation’ and for being a major contributor to the 2008 credit crunch. Indeed, just last September, Ms. Lucas joined a protest at the University of Sussex calling for the Barclays campus branch to be closed down. The Green Party has also been strong supporters of the UK Uncut and Smash EDO campaigns, both of which have targeted Barclays, amongst others, for their alleged wrongdoings.
Conservative Group Finance Spokesperson Cllr. Ann Norman said: “The Green Party in Brighton & Hove are guilty of rank hypocrisy over this. Council officers have assessed Barclays to be a good, low risk investment for the Council but if the Greens really believe that they are guilty of all this wrongdoing then surely they should put their money where their mouth is and invest it somewhere else? I wonder if grassroots Green Party members are aware that their colleagues on the Council are investing £5 million of public money in Barclays bank and contributing to the profits that they seem to find so offensive?”