Who are the Greens’ new MEPs? #2: Scott Ainslie
Over 2 million people voted for the UK’s Green Parties in this year’s European elections. This is the second highest number of votes the Greens have received in a national election, beaten only by the 1989 European election performance. Success in the election led to seven Green MEPs being elected in England, more than doubling their previous tally.
One of those new MEPs is Scott Ainslie. Elected in the London constituency, Ainslie replaces the Jean Lambert as the city’s sole Green representative.
Star of stage and screen
Ainslie is an actor by trade. His past roles include performing in the independent horror film Zombie Diaries and the controversial horror film Little Deaths as well as playing Shakespeare in a documentary that explored whether Christopher Marlowe was the true author of his works.
Ainslie also had a starring role in the short film Citizen Versus Kane.
Ainslie’s political career began in earnest in 2014, with the London local elections. He was elected onto Lambeth Borough Council, becoming the sole Green on the council. Four years later, he was joined by a further four councillors, including co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales Jonathan Bartley. In Ainslie’s ward, St Leonard’s, the Greens now hold all three seats.
During his five years on the council, Ainslie has become a prominent advocate for the Borough’s social housing residents. He has consistently opposed policies which would lead to regeneration, demolition and what he dubs “social cleansing”.
London Assembly list
It was housing issues that Ainslie placed at the centre of his campaign to be on the Green Party’s London Assembly list. Writing for Bright Green, he said that the following would be his priorities in tackling London’s housing crisis:
- Keep people in their homes and maintain them properly
- Ensure Housing Associations maintain theirs too and name and shame and refuse to give public money to those that fail leaseholders.
- Register landlords and name and shame rogue ones
- Cap rents
- Crack down on fees charged to tenants by agents
Ultimately, Ainslie was placed ninth on the parties list for the London Assembly elections.
Ainslie was more successful in his bid to come high up the London list for the European elections. The selection process lacked the star power that the Assembly list race had. But Ainslie nonetheless came top of the list, beating Gulnar Hasnain and Shahrar Ali to second and third place respectively.
Writing for Bright Green prior to his selection, Ainslie centred defending migration and taking bold action on climate change in his bid to be an MEP. Those messages were clearly well selected. As the lead candidate for London, he oversaw the party increasing its vote share by 3.5% and was comfortably elected to the European parliament.