Shahrar Ali at a demonstration

Shahrar Ali today announced he is standing to be the next leader of the Green Party of England and Wales. In doing so, he is the third candidate to join the race, with current co-leaders Sian Berry and Jonathan Bartley seeking re-election, and Solihull councillor Rosemary Sexton announcing her candidacy on June 28.

Ali is currently the home affairs spokesperson for the Green Party, and served as one of the party’s two deputy leaders alongside Amelia Womack from 2014-2016. He restood for the deputy leadership in the 2016 election, coming third on first preference votes.

This isn’t Ali’s first bid for the leadership either. He stood in the party’s 2018 leadership election, coming second and receiving 17.5% of first preference votes, ultimately losing out to Berry and Bartley.

Speaking on his bid for the leadership, Ali said:

The Green Party has just ten years to play a meaningful role in securing the transition from a fossil fuel-based economy to a net zero carbon economy by our target date of 2030.

Our entire reason for existing is on the line. We should be front and centre of this battle for the future of our country and of our planet and all the beautiful species and nonhuman animals we share it with.

He continued by saying “the time is right” for the Greens to elect a BME leader, and that the party should put the idea of electoral alliances with other parties behind it. Ali said:

I would take our radical, socialist Green vision to new publics – boldly and unapologetically. Instead we indulged, at the 2019 general election, in yet another failed progressive alliance. It feels like we have gone down a series of blind alleys since I was last in the Leadership team in 2015 when we won 1.1 million votes and saved our deposits in 123 seats instead of just 31 today.

The time is right to elect the first BME leader of a UK parliamentary party. At a time when Black Lives Matter has taken on momentum and systemic racism is being confronted like never before it simply won’t do, as we’ve been doing, to present our solidarity with a white face – tone deaf in the extreme.

Nominations have now closed for the Green Party’s leadership and deputy leadership elections. A full list of candidates is expected from the party’s electoral returning officer later this week. However, the candidates that have currently declared are as follows:

For leader or co-leader:

  • Current co-leaders Sian Berry and Jonathan Bartley
  • Solihull councillor Rosemary Sexton
  • Former deputy leader Shahrar Ali

For deputy leader:

  • London Green Party member Nick Humberstone
  • Current deputy leader Amelia Womack
  • Former Lord Mayor of Bristol Cleo Lake
  • Green activist and writer Tom Pashby

The Green Party’s rules state that if a single leader is elected, there shall be two deputy leaders, whereas if a co-leadership team are elected, there shall be only one deputy.

Members will be voting on their new leadership team throughout August.

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