Exclusive: Elise Benjamin and Frank Sheridan standing to be Green Party’s next international coordinator
There are less than 24 hours until nominations close in the Green Party of England and Wales Executive (GPEx) elections. In the final few days of the nomination period, a flurry of candidates have come forward.
Bright Green can exclusively reveal that the latest people to put their names forward are Elise Benjamin and Frank Sheridan, who are standing for the international coordinator position on a job-share ticket.
Benjamin was the first Green Party Lord Mayor of Oxford from 2011 to 2012, and served as a Councillor in the city for 15 years. She was also placed behind Alex Phillips on the Greens’ 2019 European elections list for the South East region – coming close to winning a second seat.
Meanwhile, Sheridan has been on the Green Party’s international committee for the past two years, and was a member of the Global Greens COP26 working group. He stood unsuccessfully for international coordinator in 2020.
In their bid for election, Benjamin and Sheridan are committing to building relationships with other Green Parties across the world, and “encourage Green Party members to become involved in international initiatives connected to Green politics”.
Speaking on their candidacy, Sheridan told Bright Green, “There is a huge amount of energy and potential in the international Green movement. Greens are very naturally globally-minded people. In the post-Brexit and pre-2030 landscape, we want to position [The Green Party] as leaders and do-ers on the international stage.”
Benjamin said that the pair were “best placed” to take on the international post. She told Bright Green, “With our combined knowledge of local and national party structures, campaigning experience, and our global links, we are best placed to build strong relationships and actions with other Greens around the world.”
No other candidate has yet come forward for the international coordinator position. The full list of candidates for this year’s GPEx elections who have so far publicly announced is as follows:
- Chair – Ash Routh and Melanie Earp (job share)
- Management coordinator – Kefentse Dennis, Stacy Smith
- Internal communications – David Farbey
- Trade union liaison – Matthew Hull
- International coordinator – Elise Benjamin and Frank Sheridan (job share)
Elections to GPEx take place every year, with half of the seats up for election.* Each elected post-holder serves for two years, and share collective responsibility for the party’s day to day management and financial health. In 2022, the positions up for election are:
- Campaigns coordinator
- Elections coordinator
- External communications coordinator
- Management coordinator
- International coordinator
- Trade union liaison officer
In addition to the roles listed above, there will be a by-election for the position of internal communications coordinator. This is being held as a result of the resignation of Zoe Hatch in February 2022.
Nominations for these positions close at Midday on June 30, with members voting throughout the summer. The elections are being held concurrently with an election for deputy leader.
*Author’s note – the exception to this is for the position of Wales Green Party leader, and Young Greens co-chair. Both of these positions have a seat on GPEx, but are elected through the rules set out in each organisation’s constitution.
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