A photo of a Green Party placard in front of Westminster, with an overlay which reads "Bright Green Exclusive"

In May, Bright Green reported that Kathryn Bristow was considering standing in the Green Party of England and Wales deputy leadership election. Bright Green can now exclusively reveal that Bristow has since ruled out entering the race.

Bristow was co-chair of Green Party Women from 2020-21, and previously served on the Greens of Colour committee.

Bristow has said there are “three reasons” behind the decision. Bristow told Bright Green, “It has been reported that I have been considering stand for deputy leader, this was true. However, I have decided now is not the right time for me. This is primarily due to three reasons”

Bristow went on to say that health was central to the decision, telling Bright Green, 

I have been fairly open recently that I have been struggling with getting by in a world that just isn’t built for disabled people.

I have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), which means my body’s connective tissue doesn’t quite work properly. It causes pain and fatigue as my muscles try to hold my joints in place even while resting. Paired with being dyspraxic, I commonly trip over even while using a walking stick, I recently had such a fall, which caused various injuries mainly to my shoulder and head.

I feel I need time to heal and try to get adaptations that I sorely need. I have been trying to permanently get a wheelchair which is light enough for me to push by myself, I have low muscle tone due to EDS, though getting one through the NHS is virtually impossible and the cost is prohibitive.

Next on Bristow’s list of reasons for deciding not to stand in the election is the ongoing issues of transphobia within the Green Party. Bristow told Bright Green,

I don’t want to give the false impression that voting for a trans person will solve the transphobia in our party. What trans people actually need is for every ally to say they won’t stand for trans people having to face discrimination or harassment and we need every Green to make sure [they] at least have a vote whenever trans people’s rights are at risk in the party.

In addition to this, fae said, “I saw someone wearing a Green Party badge” at a transphobic rally which Bristow was protesting, and claimed that Green Party members have spoken at previous events hosted by the rally organiser. Bristow said, “The party needs to reject all transphobia or we will be putting the country in the hands of fascists. I will still be fighting transphobia whether it occurs in and outside of the party, but all of us need to stand together.”

Finally, Bristow has said that fae would not be seeking election because of a desire to focus energies on the 2024 Bristol City Council elections. Bristow told Bright Green, “I want to be elected onto Bristol City Council and I need to be devoted to that over next few years. With the elections in 2024, we can really start to lead the city to a Green future with Carla as one of next several MPs to boot and I want to have my focus on being a part of that.”

The revelation that Bristow will not be standing in the election comes just days after Hackney Green Party’s Tyrone Scott became the second candidate to announce his candidacy. Scott joins London Assembly member Zack Polanski in the election.

Nominations for the deputy leader election close on June 30, with members voting throughout the summer. Elections for the deputy leadership of the party take place every two years, concurrently with elections to the Green Party Executive.

Earlier this year, Amelia Womack confirmed she would not be seeking re-election for the post, having served in it for eight years.

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