Mayor candidate sets out policies for his campaign
MAYORAL candidate Craig Clarke has kicked-off his campaign by announcing the launch of a new party.
The State Educated Party will be seeking to have Mr Clarke elected as mayor of Bristol in November's election.
The party, which Mr Clarke claims has "huge funding", is focussed on blocking privately educated people from attaining jobs in the public sector.
Mr Clarke told the Post that the party respects the "philanthropy" of the private education system.
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But, he said: "Doctors, judges and teachers must have been educated in the state sector or they will no longer be able to work within a state-funded organisation.
"Privately educated people will be left to big businesses – private schools for the private sector. We are working towards a system where we are all educated under the same roof."
The party was launched yesterday on the summer solstice – the "zenith point" in the year, said Mr Clarke.
Among Mr Clarke's policies in his bid to become Bristol's first elected mayor, are plans to relocate Bristol City Football Club and build an "Eden Project 2".
Mr Clarke told the Post that, if elected, he would "surprise" Bristol City FC owner Steve Lansdown by building a new stadium in the proposed enterprise zone behind Bristol Temple Meads station.
He said: "George Ferguson will be the lead architect in the project at Temple Meads.
"We want to transform the current proposed site for the new stadium in Ashton Vale into a new Eden project."
Mr Clarke said that this would please Mr Lansdown whose "second love" is conservation.
Mr Clarke hopes his new Eden Project will grow fruit and vegetables for schools in the city.
Under the plans, schoolchildren will help cultivate the produce as an educational project.
Finally, Mr Clarke said that the existing Ashton Gate stadium would be converted into a much needed multi-use entertainment venue, principally used for music gigs.
Mr Clarke claims his new party has international support.
He told the Post: "It doesn't matter too much if I'm not elected as mayor. The broader political movement behind the party will continue."
Mr Clarke stood as an independent candidate in the 2005 general elections.
He attempted to fund his campaign by charging friends £5 a time for a ride in his Lotus Esprit sports car.
Mr Clarke has more recently been involved as a spokesperson for the Bristol Occupy protests on College Green.
At a hearing to evict the protesters at Bristol County Court on January 13, he led a group which interrupted proceedings.
The group embarked on a five-hour sit-in, during which Mr Clarke repeatedly called for the judge to be arrested and spurned attempts of reconciliation by police negotiators.
He will be running against Labour selection Marvin Rees and Independent George Ferguson, among others, in the race to become Bristol's first elected mayor.