AAA and PBP join to form new ‘left of Labour’ party

Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit (AAA-PBP) plans to contest 27 constituencies

‘Anti Austerity Alliance - People Before Profit’ is now an official entity on the Register of Political Parties. All candidates of both groups will have this as their party designation on ballot papers in the General Election. Video: Bryan O'Brien

 

The Anti-Austerity Alliance and People Before Profit have formally joined forces to form new left-wing party with a target of at least seven seats in the next Dáil.

TDs Richard Boyd Barrett, Paul Murphy and Ruth Coppinger attended a press conference in a Dublin city centre hotel on Thursday, saying they were preparing for a November election.

The new grouping, to be known as Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit (AAA-PBP) plans to contest 27 constituencies.

Also at the top table at the event were Dublin Councillors Bríd Smith and Gino Kenny, along with Cork Councillor Mick Barry.

Outgoing TD Joe Higgins, who supports the merger, was in the audience.

Mr Boyd Barrett described the development as “hugely significant” and said he was confident it would be greeted with enthusiasm by people who had protested against water charges and other issues.

“Finally they have a political home to which they can look which has a real opportunity to break with the failed austerity policies and the failed political establishment which has brought this country to its knees,” he said.

“For the first time really in the history of Irish politics there is going to be a substantial national force to the Left of the Labour Party offering people a serious alternative to austerity.”

Mr Boyd Barrett accused Labour of having “cruelly betrayed” the aspirations of working people.

Mr Murphy said a political revolution was under way across Europe.

He insisted AAA-PBP would never coalesce with Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour or Renua.

“Such a coalition will only betray the hopes of working class people again as the experience of Labour going into coalition over and over again has demonstrated,” Mr Murphy said.

He said AAA-PBP would fight for a Left government.

Ms Coppinger said the development of the anti-water charges movement over the last number of years needed political expression in the next Dáil.

She appealed to people who had backed the campaign to support AAA-PBP candidates in the upcoming election.

She said other major issues which would feature in the election campaign were housing and homelessness.

“There is the potential here for the first time in history following this election to have at least seven TDs elected who would be an important parliamentary grouping in the Dáil with Socialist and Left positions being put forward,” Ms Coppinger said.

Ms Smith predicted Labour would be “decimated” in the election.