Bernie Sanders’ big brother is planning to win ex-Prime Minister David Cameron’s old seat and represent the British constituency of Witney in the U.K. parliament at a by-election this Thursday.
Larry Sanders, aged 81, who has lived in the U.K. since 1969 and is standing as a Green Party candidate, aims to fill the place left vacant by Cameron, who quit office and then politics in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.
He told CNBC on the phone Wednesday that he decided to run because there are “very serious” problems facing Witney and the U.K. – including implications from Brexit and plans to privatize the National Health Service (NHS) – and his political opponents are not offering solutions for such problems.
Bernie, aged 75, has helped in his brother’s campaign and stated in a video that, though he was not too familiar with British politics, he did know “a lot” about his brother, calling him a “very, very caring human being, who wants to see government represent all of the people, not just the people on top.”
Larry told CNBC that the video had a “very big impact” on his campaign with many Witney voters telling him they enjoyed the former U.S presidential hopeful’s contribution.
“It made me love him even more,” Larry said about his brother’s endorsement.
The British Sanders also said he was very disappointed that his brother did not become the Democrat nominee to the White House, but added that what’s important now “is to make sure that Mr. Trump doesn’t win.”
The U.S. presidential election has come to play a role in the Witney by-election. Duncan Enright, the Labour candidate told CNBC via email: “I am hoping Hillary Clinton is backing me, although I understand she is also quite busy with an election at the moment.”
The U.K’s Guardian newspaper reported that Conservative Party candidate Robert Courts is the most likely to win the by-election, but with a much lower percentage than the one hold by his predecessor.
David Cameron had a solid majority of 60 percent, but this could be heavily impacted by the area’s pro-EU sentiment.
Witney voters were strongly against a British departure from the EU: 54 percent of them said they wanted to keep its EU membership and could use the by-election – the first following the referendum – to send a signal they’re against the Conservative government’s stance.
“As a small business owner, I have already begun to see the effects of Brexit,” Enright, from the Labour party told CNBC in an email.
“Business people across the constituency have told me about their concerns: if you buy stock from abroad, for example, you are already getting far less for your money,” he added.
Larry also said that he was a pro-EU supporter and the ongoing anti-migrant tone is “self-destructive.”