Adrian Ramsay and Carla Denyer

So, voting in the elections for the new Green Party of England and Wales leader is underway! We have five choices to put in order of preference, three standing for co-leader positions, and two standing as individuals. Each and every one of the candidates brings different skills and experiences to the competition, and three have already served as Deputy Leader. They are all talented and courageous – we’re lucky to have such a diverse choice.

But how do we decide where to place our votes?

Last year I stood down as the Green Party’s Election Coordinator, a post I’d held for just about eleven years. I’ve spent more than half my life working to get Greens elected to councils, the European Parliament, London Assembly and, of course, to Westminster.  I’ve also managed election campaigns and stood for election many times.  So let me share what I believe are the five qualities we need in the role of party Leader:

  1. Sound political experience and a deep understanding of our political system; a proven track record of success in election campaigns, not just campaigning on important green issues, but a mature comprehension of the ins and outs of strategic navigation in a complicated political environment.
  2. Loads of media experience, and comfort in front of a camera or a difficult journalist. They should also have…well, ‘gravitas’ – that difficult-to-define-but-easy-to-recognise quality, which makes them likeable to those who are watching or listening.
  3. Lots of experience of working at local party level, knocking on doors, speaking to local people and the getting the votes out. This grassroots knowledge is what connects our leaders with the needs of local activists and volunteers.
  4. Internal experience of how the party works; its committees, procedures, management and governance structures.
  5. A willingness to listen and take leadership when tensions arise over difficult topics.

Having read the biographies and watched hours of hustings videos I am clear that the only team to tick all those boxes is Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay. In the first place they have a solid track record of political success. Adrian built up Norwich Green Party from a small local group to one of the most successful in the party. Carla’s work in Bristol, both as a Councillor and as our target candidate in Bristol West has been phenomenal. Their combined experience and understanding of how to achieve electoral success isn’t matched by the other candidates. They will steer us to further gains, not just by talking fine words, but by putting that experience into action.

But they also have that media ‘gravitas’, a candour that comes not just with confidence and experience but with heartfelt conviction; Adrian with gentle sincerity and Carla with passion.

I have worked with all of the candidates over the years, and appreciate so much in each of them. But I can say with total conviction that, right now, Carla and Adrian are just the ticket for the Green Party.

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