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Green Party's Brighton billboard Labour conference jibe to be taken down
A controversial billboard by the Green Party welcoming Labour delegates to town is to be taken down for promoting a political message.
Thousands of people have seen the digital advert near Brighton Station in Queen’s Road, after it went live on Saturday.
In a jibe to the Labour Party, which is hosting its annual conference in the city, the board claimed that Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas is the only person offering “real opposition” in parliament.
Trustees at Community Base, the charity that owns the screen, have now asked for it to be withdrawn stating it breaches an agreement with its advertising company that no political messages are posted there.
An email sent by Mick Barry, chairman of the board of trustees of Community Base, said: “This advert is a serious breach of the lease and I have instructed the [operators] to withdraw it immediately.
“I am assured by them that this has now been done.
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It follows concerns from some councillors that the Greens had breached a condition when planning consent was granted.
However, Brighton and Hove City Council has since confirmed that there was no such measure put in place.
Instead, there was a voluntary agreement between Community Base and Maxx |Media, who operates the hoarding.
Rob Shepherd, chairman of Brighton and Hove Green Party, said: “As recently as this morning, we were reassured that there were no restrictions on political messages on the billboard, and that no rules at all had been broken.
“Community Base is a fantastic organisation and we’re disappointed that someone apparently felt the need to put them under pressure.
“This was a light-hearted advert, but clearly we hit a nerve. In any case, it was factually correct.”
But Labour councillor Gill Mitchell said: “This is yet another Caroline Lucas publicity stunt where she seems content to break laws that others have to abide by. She seems to be getting increasingly desperate to cling on to her seat.”
The ad starts with a check list, against a red backdrop, reading: “Saving the NHS, Fighting Austerity, Railways in Public Hands, Scrapping Trident.”
As the screen turns green, the billboard says “Brought to you by the Green Party.”
The final screen displays a photo of Caroline Lucas MP and reads: “Welcome to Brighton – home of the true opposition in Parliament. |PS Labour is down the hill on the right”.
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