The Green Party needs leaders who hold public office
This leadership election is vital to the future of our party, and with it Green Politics across England and Wales. To me, there is one standout candidate team. Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay are the political heavyweights in the contest.
We all know that the Green Party has only one MP – the wonderful and inspiring Caroline Lucas. We do have two equally hard-working members of the House of Lords, Jenny Jones and Natalie Bennett. We lost our seven Green MEPs along with the UK losing all of its democratic representation in the European Parliament.
Natalie and Caroline have both recently been excellent Green Party leaders, but have gracefully stepped aside to give a new generation of Green politicians the space to Lead. To have credibility in the eyes of the media, our Green Party leader must hold elected public office – which means we must choose one of the numerous potential candidates from our rapidly growing ranks of Green Councillors.
There is perhaps no more respected Green Councillor than Carla. She inspired Bristol City Council to declare the UK’s first climate and ecological emergency. Carla is one of the key reasons why Bristol elected a record 24 Green City Councillors on 6 May this year. She is deservedly the Green parliamentary candidate for the Bristol West Constituency, capturing 24.9% of the vote in the 2019 general election (the second highest Green vote anywhere in the country).
As a (very) young Green Councillor, and gifted campaign organiser, Adrian was the driving force behind Norwich Green Party’s rise in the first decade of this 21st Century. He served as the party’s first deputy leader, to Caroline Lucas, from 2008 to 2012, before leaving Norwich to earn a living. As chief executive of the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth from 2014 to 2019, and now chief executive of the MCS Charitable Foundation (the independent organisation that runs the quality and standards scheme for UK home-grown renewable energy), Adrian brings a business gravitas previously unknown in the Green Party leadership.
As a pair, Carla and Adrian are offer a formidable and dynamic leadership upgrade to the Green Party.
It is worth remembering that the Green Party leadership team are our party’s principal spokespeople. Our elected leaders do not set Green Party Policy – party conference does! Our leaders set the tone.
Carla and Adrian have demonstrated their boundless ambitions for personal and party-wide electoral success throughout their times as Green Party members. Adrian’s organisational gifts helped Caroline Lucas win Brighton Pavilion for the first time in 2010, and he did not stop there – recently helping Vix Lowthion in her parliamentary campaigns for the Isle of Wight constituency. In the face of the climate and ecological emergency, we urgently need to elect more MPs, and even more Green Councillors. Carla and Adrian are the winning team with the experience and knowledge to take the Green Party to the next level.
I write this having personally Nominated the Tina Rothery and Martin Hemingway ticket. I can construct a strong argument for Tina, as the unifying leader that the Green Party needs right now. As a widely respected climate campaigner for the Lancashire ‘Nanas’, she is the genuine article. I have boundless respect for Martin. As an organiser, and scrupulously fair long-serving member of our standing orders committee, he has always placed the best interests of our Party first. However, voters are the vital audience for a Green Party leader. To complement her unrivalled campaigning strengths, Tina needed an elected Green Councillor as her running mate.
Carla and Adrian have proven the power of “a Green in the room”. They have my vote.
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