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Over 350 UK parliamentary candidates pledge support for Tibet PDF Print E-mail
[5 May 2015, London] Over 350 parliamentary candidates standing in the UK General Election on 7 May have pledged support for human rights in Tibet [1]. The pledges have come from candidates representing all the major political parties, denoting the wide support Tibetan freedom has in the UK. The pledges are part of the Vote Tibet campaign [2] initiated by Tibet Society [3].

VT logoFabian Hamilton, Labour candidate for Leeds North East and chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet during the last parliamentary session, said, "Foreign policy is an issue that has hardly registered during this election campaign. However, the number of candidates pledging support for Tibet, indicates there is a strong desire to see a government with ethics that will not only challenge China's human rights record but will stand up for the rights and freedoms of the Tibetan people."

Candidates from all the main parties have pledged support for Tibet in significant numbers. As of 3pm on 5 May, 354 candidates had made the pledge. Of those, 148 were Green candidates, 69 Liberal Democrat, 54 Labour, 20 UKIP and 19 Conservative. There has also been support from regional parties: 4 SNP (Scotland), 10 Plaid Cmyru (Wales) and 2 Alliance, 1 SDLP & 1 Sinn Fein (all Northern Ireland).
Natalie Bennett, the leader of the Green Party and candidate for Holborn and St Pancras, has also signed the pledge.

Overall, almost 9% of candidates have signed the pledge (354 candidates of a total of 3,971), including 8.6% of incumbents (48 of 560).

The Vote Tibet campaign was launched by Tibet Society in early April, with the long-term aim of building parliamentary support for Tibet. Parliamentary candidates were asked to sign the pledge "I will use my position as an MP to support human rights for Tibetans in Tibet including the freedom to determine their own future." Tibet Society encouraged its members and supporters to contact candidates standing in their own constituency and ask them to make the pledge.

Following the election, successful candidates will be encouraged to honour their pledges by raising Tibet in Parliament, joining the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet and taking part in various Tibet-related initiatives.

Contact:
Paul Golding, Campaigns Coordinator, Tibet Society: +44 (0)20 7923 0021,
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Notes:

1. An up-to-date list of candidates who have signed the pledge for Tibet can be viewed at www.tibetsociety.com/content/view/537

2. Further details about the Vote Tibet campaign can be seen at www.VoteTibet.com

3. Tibet Society was founded in 1959, within weeks of the flight of the Dalai Lama from Tibet following the uprising against China's occupation. In doing so, Tibet Society became the worlds first ever Tibet support group. Today, Tibet Society continues to work for the freedom of the Tibetan people and their right to self-determination.
 
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