Bernie Sanders’ older brother Larry is standing to replace David Cameron in the ex-prime minister’s old constituency.
The 81-year-old has been announced as The Green Party candidate in the Witney by-election on October 20, when people will go to the polls to elect a new MP for the Oxfordshire seat, after Cameron unexpectedly announced he would stand down from parliament.
Larry Sanders, who has lived in the UK since 1969, is already the health spokesman for the Greens and famously spoke about his parents while addressing the Democratic National Convention on behalf of Democrats Abroad in July.
Hillary Clinton secured the Democratic nomination for president after a long battle in the primary elections against Bernie Sanders, a US senator.
Both brothers fought back tears as Larry Sanders said: “I want to read, before this convention, the names of our parents, Eli Sanders and Dorothy Sanders. They did not have easy lives, and they died young. They would be immensely proud of their son and his accomplishments. They loved him.”
Sanders was previously a county councillor and has pledged to fight the contest on opposing NHS privatisation, The Greens said.
In a statement about the Witney election, he said: “The major political parties are in disarray. The policies of the last 30 years, shifting resources and power from the majority to the richest, culminated in the illegality and greed which crashed the economy in 2008.
“We need to show that we don’t want Britain to be the most unequal country in Europe. We don’t want unmet health needs to increase when we already have too few doctors, nurses, and hospital beds.
“We don’t want the Government to impose unworkable contracts on 50,000 precious doctors, when it is clear that the supposed reason for the contract, a seven day hospital service, can’t be done at present funding.
“This is a rich, capable and decent country. We can do better.”
Witney is a safe Conservative seat and the party’s candidate Robert Courts is almost certain to be elected. The Greens won 5.1% of the vote there in 2015.
Sanders was an active Labour member in the 1980s but “consciously dissociated” himself from the party in the 1990s, feeling it had become too similar to the Tories under Tony Blair, he said in an interview with HuffPost UK last December.
At the time, he compared his brother’s insurgent presidential campaign to Jeremy Corbyn’s unexpected election as Labour leader.
He said of Corbyn’s positions: “Anti-austerity, opposition to the growth of inequality, certainly. They’re very similar to Bernard’s.”