Benali Hamdache, Equalities Spokesperson for the Green Party of England and Wales, has today launched his campaign for Green candidate for London Mayor.

unnamed (3)

He joins Sian Berry, Tom Chance, Caroline Russell, and Jonathan Bartley. Like each of them, Benali is also aiming to come first on the list for the London Assembly.

Benali has chaired both the London Green Party and London Young Greens for over year, and is the chair of the LGBTIQ Greens. He has a background in campaigning and mental health, having worked in the NHS in mental health treatment & research. He successfully led a campaign that overturned homophobic section 28 style PSHE guidance in a set of schools, as well as helping set up a charity for young people with mental health problems.

On his launch he stated, ‘I was motivated to run because of the huge unaddressed issues London faces. Youth BAME unemployment is London is monstrous, with BAME youth being around twice as likely to be unemployed as white youth. Yet Boris is simply unable to evidence clear ways he is looking to address the crisis. Indeed all indicators show that Boris is failing to deliver on creating apprenticeships and job opportunities.’

‘The Mayor of London’s office could be taking clear steps to solve the issue, by focusing on improving diversity of all levels of staff in the Mayor’s office, working with councils and contractors to introduce anonymous CVs in recruitment and making a real push for valuable apprenticeships and training opportunities.’

‘It is a disgrace that for years after the London riots millions of the Mayor Regeneration Fund went unspent. Boris has a terrible record on race relations, and London needs a fresh change.’

Benali outlined another major priority he would pursue: ‘We also need real action on affordable housing, London’s unstable housing market has meant as a private renter I’ve had to move five times in three years. We need to start building homes and we need to address the runaway growth in luxury unaffordable housing being built only for investors.’

He stated that he was ‘proud’ of his mixed race heritage and the fact he was non-privately educated. On his youth, he said that ‘in an increasingly young city it’s time to break the mould in seeing politicians must be of a certain age.’

Benali concluded, ‘I’m excited by the real change a Green Mayor could bring to this great city and I look forward to seeking my party’s candidature over the next two months.’

Nominations in the London Green Party’s selection process for Mayor and Assembly candidates opened at the beginning of June, and the final decisions are due to be announced on 2nd September. Every one of the more that 10,000 members of the London Green Party will be able to vote between 3rd and 30th August.

You can see Benali’s campaign website here, or find more of Bright Green’s coverage of next year’s Mayoral and Assembly elections in London here.