Gerrard Sables, Communist general election candidate for North Devon, discusses the campaign so far and outlines some of the issues the branch will be campaigning on.

In Texas Communists are still not allowed to stand for public office. Here in Britain we have always been allowed to stand. I first stood for the Communist Party in 1979 for what was the Trinity ward of North Devon District Council. Prior to that we had supported the Labour party with precious little thanks for it. The local Labour Party's attitude to us was one of tolerant contempt. This completely changed when we showed we could run a campaign.

This will be my twelfth contest and our local branch's fourteenth. On May7 th I will be standing for MP and this time three of our members will be fighting for seats on Barnstaple Town Council and on North Devon District Council.

Communist parliamentary candidate for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, Laura-Jane Rossington, was met with applause after applause at a recent hustings on education policy.

The event at a college in Plymouth was organised by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) as part of their “Stand Up for Education” manifesto.

Answering questions on a wide range of subjects the Young Communist League Executive member proved herself against candidates from the Labour, Lib Dem and Green parties. While the other panellists were restrained by party policy and records in office Laura-Jane was able to bring clear and focussed class analysis to the fore.

For the first time in the party's ninety-five year history a Communist candidate is standing for election in Plymouth.

Laura-Jane Rossington, a student at Plymouth City College, is also one of the youngest parliamentary candidates in the country.

“People in Plymouth have been holding their noses and voting Labour for generations. Voters have a right to a genuine left-wing alternative” she said.

“The Communist Party has a proud history in Britain, including hundreds of elected councillors and even two MPs back in 1945. We're not just an anti-cuts campaign or a protest vote”.

The party is standing on a platform that includes leaving the EU and NATO, renationalising the utility companies and railways, taking the banks into public ownership, big cuts to VAT and a massive house building programme.