Caroline Russell

With five days left in the Green Party of England and Wales leadership election, the battle for big name backers rumbles on. Team Amelia Womack and Tamsin Omond have been raking them in the past few days. This week, Green London Assembly Member Caroline Russell endorsed the pair. The number of MSPs throwing their weight behind the Womack-Omond campaign also grew to three.

Announcing her decision to support Womack and Omond on Twitter, Russell said she had “absolute confidence that their joint experience will make them a dynamic, assured and effective leadership team to take our party forward”. Russell said that she’ll be voting for Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay second when she casts her ballot, and called the election “a very close call”.

Russell is currently the only member of the the Green group on the London Assembly to have backed a specific candidate. Previously, outgoing leader Sian Berry – who sits alongside Russell on the Assembly – asked members to vote for either Womack-Omond or Denyer-Ramsay, but did not specify a preferred order.

Green MSPs have been more forthcoming in giving their support to candidates. While they represent a separate party – the Scottish Greens – three MSPs have given their backing to Womack and Omond.

First up, it was Maggie Chapman. Chapman – a former co-convener of the Scottish Greens – said that their leadership would be a “force for good”. She said:

Amelia’s knowledge of party development and election campaigning are perfectly complemented by Tamsin’s movement building and activism. Together, they will be the force for good, for equality, for social and environmental justice, that GPEW and the world so desperately need.

Following Chapman, Ross Greer was next to give the pair his support. Greer said that Womack and Omond “know that electoral success and movement-building come hand in hand.”

And finally, Central Scotland’s first ever MSP Gillian Mackay backed the pair on September 16. Mackay described Womack and Omond as a “breath of fresh air”.

With the Scottish Greens currently holding seven seats in the Scottish Parliament, this means almost half of sitting MSPs have publicly backed Womack and Omond.

These endorsements will be warmly received by those in the Womack-Omond camp. While they already had an impressive and extensive list of backers – including the writer George Monbiot and Brighton & Hove Council leader Phelim Mac Cafferty – the pair had previously struggled to secure backing from elected Greens at a higher tier of government than local councils.

By contrast, their primary opponents – Denyer and Ramsay – had been backed by two thirds of living current or former Green parliamentarians in England and Wales, including the Greens’ sole MP Caroline Lucas.

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