Eu CoR
Cooper speaking at the EU’s Committee of the Regions

Kirklees Green Party councillor Andrew Cooper has fired the starting gun on the party’s Deputy Leadership race after becoming the first to announce he’s running to be Deputy Leader of the Green Party.

Andrew Cooper announced on social media on Thursday morning that he was running for one of the two slots – or one if two co-leaders are elected – available for Deputy Leaders. It follows the announcement earlier this week that Caroline Lucas MP and Green DWP Spokesperson Jonathan Bartley would stand to be co-leaders.

Cooper is a long-standing Green Party councillor on Kirklees Council (Newsome Ward), and is the Green Party’s National Energy Spokesperson, having led successful efforts in Kirklees to insulate 50,000 homes across Kirklees. Cooper is a lifetime Green member who joined in 1988, and currently sits on the EU’s Committee of the Regions, representing Yorkshire.

He hopes to take the leadership debate outside of London, in what may become a South East-led contest.

Current Deputy Leaders Amelia Womack and Shahrar Ali have not yet announced whether they will re-stand, although there are strong rumours that both will, meaning it could be a hotly-contested race for the Deputy slot/s.

Andrew Cooper told Bright Green:

“I’m standing for election as Deputy Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales to give a strong voice for the Regions in our Leadership Team.

“I am keen to see the Green Party grow as a more effective electoral and campaigning force. I have the experience and ability to help make that happen.  Never has this been more necessary than now with both our local and global environments increasingly threatened by Governments in the UK and around the world. Many people are increasingly insecure with lack of access to housing, trapped in low waged jobs and many young people saddled with thousands of pounds worth of student debt.

“We need to clearly put across to people that the Green Party is offering a positive sustainable vision of a more secure future in an increasingly uncertain world. We won’t do that alone. We will need to collaborate with other organisations, find allies and even work with Parties who we find ourselves opposed to at a local and national level. The experience I have as a long standing Councillor in one of the largest Councils in the Country will be a useful asset to the Green Party Leadership Team. We need more Greens elected with the skills and knowledge to get Green policies implemented at the local and national level.

“I am looking forward to the campaign and to meeting as many Green Party members as possible over the next few months.”

Cooper, a former chair of the Association of Green Councillors, has been endorsed by Rupert Read – previously thought to be a potential deputy or leadership candidate but who ruled himself out last month.

Nominations for the Leadership posts opened on June 1st and close on June 30th.  The result of the Leadership and Deputy Leadership Elections will be announced at Green Party Conference in Birmingham on September 2nd. All fully paid up members of the Green Party of England and Wales will be eligible to vote in the elections.

Bright Green will be covering the whole election – with exclusive insights into the race – so make sure to follow the site over the coming months.