Sam Alston, Peter Sims and Adrian Spurrell

There are less than 24 hours until nominations close for this year’s Green Party of England and Wales Executive (GPEx) elections. And today, two more candidates have announced they’re standing.

Policy development coordinator

First up, the policy development coordinator position has its second candidate. Peter Sims and Sam Alston are standing as a job share. Sims and Alston cut their teeth in campaigning through the student activist network People & Planet – where the pair were regional organisers and worked on successful fossil fuel divestment campaigns.

Since then, both have been active within the Green Party’s policy processes and election campaigns. Sims has been a member of both the tax and fiscal policy working group and the land use policy working group. Meanwhile, Alston is a founding member of the Jewish Greens, was campaign manager of the 2019 Oxford East general election campaign, and is a former co-chair of the South East Young Greens.

Sims and Alston are committing to more actively bringing marginalised and oppressed groups into the party’s policy making processes, as well as engaging with trade unions on policy development.

Speaking on their candidacy, Alston told Bright Green:

When I joined the Green Party one of the attractions was that its policy belongs to the members, not made in a special interest dominated smoke filled room. In a time of unprecedented change I want to use my background in informal education, community organising and youth work to ensure we make informed decisions and to prioritise the voices of oppressed [groups] previously underrepresented in our party.

Sims is drawing on his background in the party’s policy processes for the campaign. He told Bright Green: 

My experience with the Tax & Fiscal Policy Voting Paper, and the more recently the land use policy working group… highlights that process is key. We must not shy away from the… long and complex process of building common understanding between those passionate about critical, but decisive issues, and it is the ground work for building consensus on what the parties [sic] policy position should be.

Bright Green understands that among the members to endorse Sims and Alston are the entire committee of the Jewish Greens.

Sims and Alston former Young Greens co-chair and Nottingham based Green Party activist Liam McClelland in the race for the policy development coordinator role.

Chair of GPEx

Sims and Alston aren’t alone in announcing their candidacy for a position on GPEx today. Current Green Party Regional Council secretary Adrian Spurrell has put his hat in the ring for the powerful position of GPEx chair.

Spurrell is currently active in the development of the party’s long term political strategy, and has said that he wishes to finish this work as chair of GPEx. He also placed driving constitutional change within the party at the centre of his campaign, and claims he can “heal” internal differences within the party.

Speaking on his candidacy, Spurrell told Bright Green:

I’m standing to be Chair of GPEx because the next decade is pivotal for the future of the environment and we need a Green Party that is agile, effective and funded to fight for the changes that are needed to ensure we and future generations have a habitable planet; and I think I have the skills and capabilities to help us become the organisation we need to be.

Spurrell joins two other candidates in the chair election. Ewan Jones is also standing for GPEx chair, with Ashley Rou and Benjamin Smith standing as a job share. Current GPEx chair Liz Reason has yet to publicly state whether she will seek re-election for the role.

Wider elections

Today’s news comes just a day after Solihull councillor Rosemary Sexton became the first candidate to challenge Sian Berry and Jonathan Bartley’s bid to be re-elected as party co-leaders. It also follows an earlier announcement that former Lord Mayor of Bristol Cleo Lake is standing for deputy leader.

The full list of candidates announced for the eleven positions up for election on GPEx is as follows:

  • Leader or co-leaders – Jonathan Bartley & Sian Berry; Rosemary Sexton
  • Deputy Leader – Nick Humberstone; Amelia Womack; Cleo Lake
  • Chair – Benjamin Smith & Ashley Routh; Ewan Jones; Adrian Spurrell
  • Campaigns Co-ordinator – Daniel Laycock
  • Elections Co-ordinator – Kai Taylor & Claire Stephenson; Joe Levy & Laurie Needham
  • External Communications Co-ordinator – Peter Underwood
  • Management Co-ordinator – Florence Pollock & Matt Browne
  • International Co-ordinator – Sam Murray & Alice Hubbard; Alex Horn & Erwin Schaefer
  • Policy Development Co-ordinator – Liam McClelland; Peter Sims & Sam Alston
  • Publications Co-ordinator – Danny Keeling; Jack Lenox
  • Trade Union Liaison Officer – Paul Valentine & Matthew Hull; Kefentse Dennis

Nominations for all GPEx positions close at 12:00pm on June 30. Members will vote for their new executive throughout August.

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