Sian Berry and Jonathan Bartley

The Green Party of England and Wales’ leadership race has officially kicked off, with incumbent co-leaders Jonathan Bartley and Sian Berry announcing they will be restanding in their current roles. Their announcement, first covered by the Guardian, saw the pair claim they wanted to make the party into a “mass-membership movement”:

We need to be bigger and better and become a mass-membership movement that demonstrates the new kind of leadership this country so desperately needs.

Berry and Bartley have shared the position since 2018 – having defeated Shahrar Ali and Leslie Rowe comfortably in the leadership election of that year. Bartley was also previously co-leader of the party alongside Green MP Caroline Lucas from 2016-18.

Speaking to Bright Green on their candidacy, Bartley and Berry said:

We have felt very privileged to have served the Green Party as co-leaders over the last two years. We are proud of our record of action, party growth and success across the three major elections the party has faced in that time, and we will be asking members to re-elect us this year to continue our work.

They continued by highlighting the electoral success the Greens had seen under their leadership:

When we were elected, we did so on a platform of working with the wider party leadership team to take the Greens to the next level. Over this time the party has grown its membership by over 50 per cent. Together we have more than doubled our number of councillors, and gone from being the official opposition on five councils to playing a part in running 18 councils. And the clarity and passion of our policies and values meant we had our most successful European elections ever, electing seven MEPs last year.

As of yet, Bartley and Berry remain the only candidates to come forward. In May, former MEPs Alex Phillips and Magid Magid both ruled out standing for the leadership. Other prominent figures – such as current deputy leader Amelia Womack – are yet to make any public announcements as to their intentions. However, with three weeks until nominations close, there is plenty of time for a challenger to the incumbents to emerge.

The leadership and deputy leadership contests are being held alongside elections to the Green Party Executive. The following positions are up for election this year:

  • Leader
  • Deputy Leader
  • Chair
  • Campaigns Co-ordinator
  • Elections Co-ordinator
  • External Communications Co-ordinator
  • Management Co-ordinator
  • International Co-ordinator
  • Policy Development Co-ordinator
  • Publications Co-ordinator
  • Trade Union Liaison Officer

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Image credit: Kelly Hill – Creative Commons