Scott Cato has been an MEP since 2014
Scott Cato has been an MEP since 2014

Molly Scott Cato has been chosen as the Green Party’s candidate for its target seat of Bristol West in the event of an early general election.

Scott-Cato, who was elected as a Member of the European Parliament for the South-West in 2014, said:

“I am honoured to have been trusted by Bristol Green Party to fight the Bristol West seat, which I believe we can and must win when the election comes. Bristol has long been a beacon for green creativity and it seems long overdue that this was represented at Westminster.

“With the city facing devastating cuts to services it is important to fight the destructive politics of austerity and as an economist I am well placed to do this on behalf of the people of Bristol.

“Caroline Lucas has demonstrated what a Green MP can achieve since being elected in 2010, bringing the NHS Reinstatement Bill and a bill to bring the railways back into public ownership before MPs, as well as battling against fracking and nuclear power and for renewable energy.

“But imagine what we could do with more Greens in the House of Commons. The country needs greater Green representation and Bristol West is the place to make this happen.”

The Green Party has chosen candidates for its three target seats, in the event of an early election. Sheffield Central has chosen Natalie Bennett and Caroline Lucas will aim to retain a seat in Brighton, although the name of that seat is currently unknown due to potential boundary changes.

In 2015, the Greens finished second in Bristol West, gaining 27% of the vote, just 9% behind Labour’s candidate Thangam Debbonaire. This represents a huge increase on 2010, where the party finished fourth with just 4% of the vote.

As well as being an MEP, Scott-Cato is an economist and writer who grew up in Bath and has spent most of her adult life in the West Country. She studied politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University and later gained a doctorate in economics from Aberystwyth.

Aside from her work as an economist Scott Cato’s areas of special interest include land ownership and food production; renewable energy, especially when it is owned by local communities; co-operatives and self-managed firms; and issues concerned with peace and opposing nuclear weapons and nuclear power.

Before being elected to the European Parliament, Molly was an elected Green Councillor and worked as Professor of Economics at Roehampton University in London.

She joined the Green Party in 1988 and for the past 15 years she has spoken for the Green Party on economics and finance.

The announcement of her election was made by Green co-leader Jonathan Bartley at a meeting of Bristol Green Party this evening.

Bartley said in a statement:

“In cities like Bristol, that overwhelmingly voted to remain inside the EU, people are being increasingly isolated and ignored by a Government that isn’t representing them.

“Local people have consistently voted for an inclusive and positive future but the Conservatives are moving in the opposite direction. They deserve someone who will provide proper representation for Bristol and a real opposition to this government.
“I am delighted to see the local party select Molly Scott Cato, the city’s current MEP, as their candidate. Molly is already an incredibly influential MEP, a professor in economics and at her heart a radical campaigner. Intelligent and passionate about radical reform – I can’t think of anyone better to represent Bristol.”