Representatives of the charity sector are among prospective candidates for the European Parliament elections – with two notable figures standing for political parties with diametrically opposed views on Brexit.
Matthew Patten, former chief executive of the Mayor’s Fund for London and of the Lord’s Taverners, and until February interim chief executive at children’s charity the Martin James Foundation, will stand for the Brexit Party, led by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage. At the time of writing, the party has not yet confirmed in which region Patten will be a candidate.
Meanwhile, Carole Tongue, current president of the European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity and the founder and chair of the UK Coalition for Cultural Diversity, which campaigns to support implementations of UNESCO’s Convention on Diversity of Cultural Expressions, will stand for the anti-Brexit Change UK party, in London. Tongue served as a Labour MEP between 1984 and 1999.
The European Parliament elections are due to be held on May 23, assuming the UK has not completed the Brexit process before then (which seems unlikely, at the time of writing). Officially, the UK is due to leave the EU on October 31, so anyone elected in May will not be in post for very long – unless that deadline is extended (which seems perfectly possible, at the time of writing).