Bernie Sanders’ brother Larry to stand for Greens in Whitney
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Bernie Sanders’ brother Larry to stand for Greens in Whitney

Larry Sanders said he was inspired to stand as an MP because of Bernie's success

Larry Sanders, older brother of former United States presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, at his home in Oxford.
Larry Sanders, older brother of former United States presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, at his home in Oxford.

Larry Sanders said he was inspired to stand as an MP because of the success of his brother Bernie Sanders – and pledged to follow in his footsteps by taking on the establishment.

Mr Sanders, 82, has been selected as the Green Party candidate for David Cameron’s old constituency of Witney in Oxfordshire, a safe Tory seat.

The retired social worker is campaigning on a radical agenda of more social care, better housing and introducing proportional representation.

Mr Sanders, whose brother ran for the Democrat nomination for US president before losing out to Hilary Clinton, said he hoped his family name will help take his political vision to a broader audience.

He told the Press Association: “I am pleased and daunted, it is very hard work but I think it is quite a critical time politically and very important that the Green message can get out to people.

“And as I now have a famous name I’m hoping that will help with it.”

Asked about his famous younger brother, he said: “I am inspired. You can get very depressed when you see that silly ideas get accepted as truth, and Bernie showed that if you can get a hearing and make a clear case, that many more people than expected will listen.

“So that is very inspiring. I would love to do the same.”

Asked if has been given any tips from his brother on how to run his campaign, Mr Sanders laughed and quipped: “No, but I’m stealing all his policies.

“I think we do have very similar views.”

Mr Sanders, who has been a councillor for the Green Party in Oxfordshire since 2005, said he emailed his brother a couple of weeks ago to tell him he was planning to stand for the nomination.

He said: “I was telling Bernard that my grandson, who is 10, listened to me and he said ‘Grandpa is the only one who speaks from his heart’.

“So I wanted to brag to Bernard about that because I don’t get that many chances.

“And he wrote back saying ‘Yes us Sanders are not very bright but we are very authentic.”

His brother’s presidential nomination campaign was hugely popular with younger voters, drawing comparisons with Jeremy Corbyn in Britain.

Asked if he is hopeful he can win over some of the young Corbynistas in Oxfordshire during the election, Mr Sanders laughed and said: “I don’t know, is the truthful answer. I can tell you the young Greens at the conference were very keen on me, so maybe it is happening.”

He admitted his prospects of snatching the seat from the Conservatives “are very slim” but said he is keen “because it is such an establishment seat”.

He added: “There will be a lot of press attention and that is an opportunity for us to be heard. That really is the big reason for it.”

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