Confirmed: The four candidates standing for the Green Party deputy leadership
It’s official. The Green Party of England and Wales has now published the full list of candidates in this year’s election for the deputy leadership.
The four candidates are:
Shahrar Ali was deputy leader of the Green Party from 2014-16, serving alongside Amelia Womack. He lost his bid for re-election in 2016, and has since stood in the 2018, 2020 and 2021 elections for the party leadership in which he has received around a fifth of the first preference vote. He also served as the party’s appointed spokesperson for home affairs and for policing. Earlier this year, he was removed as a party spokesperson as a result of what the chair of the party’s executive said were “breaches of the Speakers’ Code of Conduct”. As a result of his removal as a spokesperson, and the criticism he has experienced for his comments on trans rights, he currently has a legal claim lodged against the party over what he alleges is “unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation for daring to express my gender critical views”. Ali has said he is standing for deputy in order to “ensure an inhabitable planet for our children” and because “women [are] crying out for a politician to speak plainly on [the] importance of sex-based rights”.
Nick Humberstone stood unsuccessfully for the deputy leadership of the party in 2020, coming fifth and receiving 4.3 per cent of the first preference vote. He has since been a target candidate for the Greens in the local elections in Lewisham, coming less than 200 votes short of being elected to the Council in 2022. Prior to that, Humberstone served on the Young Greens Democracy and Accountability Committee. Humberstone has said he wants to provide “ambitious leadership” for the party in order to secure more Green MPs.
Zack Polanski is a member of the London Assembly, where he sits as chair of London’s Environment Committee. He is also currently the party’s spokesperson for democracy and citizenship engagement. Polanski joined the Greens in 2017, following a brief stint in the Liberal Democrats. He has previously faced criticism for an article published in The Sun in 2013, in which he claimed he could teach women to make their breasts bigger through hypnosis – about which he has since apologised “unreservedly” and stated, “the service highlighted is not a service I ever have or would offer outside of the context of this article.” On his candidacy, Polanski has said, “Every single person in this country needs to know what the Green Party stands for, and we have to win more MPs. It’s as simple as that.”
Tyrone Scott was one of the Greens’ candidates in Dalston in the 2022 Hackney Borough Council elections. While his co-candidate Zoë Garbett was elected, Scott fell short. Outside of electoral politics, Scott is known for his public campaigning, particularly around housing issues and on climate justice. On the latter, he was involved in an action which disrupted the final moments of the Glasgow climate talks, storming the stage and declaring “COP26 has been a failure” before COP 26 president Alok Sharma was due to announce the deal that had been agreed. He also served as campaigns and communications officer for the Young Greens from 2019-20. Scott has said that he wants to “represent a Green Party that fights for all forms of social justice, that secures radical change and builds on our platform to create a real Green Revolution.”
It’s not just a new deputy leader that Green Party members will be electing this summer. They’ll also be electing members of the party’s executive (GPEx). A total of eight posts are up for election this year, and there are 18 solo and job share candidates in the running.
Here’s the full list.
- Jon Nott – Jon is the party’s current finance coordinator and served as the Greens’ first ever chief executive from 2008-10. He currently works for Campaign Against the Arms Trade, and is a former vice-chair of CND.
- Adrian Spurrell – Adrian has been co-chair of the Green Party Regional Council (GPRC) and is currently treasurer of Luton & Bedfordshire Green Party. He was the Greens’ candidate for Mayor of Bedford in 2019.
- Tina Rothery and Alison Teal – Tina is an anti-fracking activist from Lancashire who is currently co-chair of Green Party women. Alison was a Councillor for six years in Sheffield, having served for one year as the Council’s cabinet member for sustainable neighbourhoods.
- Ash Routh and Melanie Earp – Ash is a former co-chair of the LGBTIQA+ Greens and was the Green candidate in the recent Wakefield by-election. Melanie was the Greens’ candidate in the 2021 Greater Manchester mayoral election.
- Tom Scott – Tom is the incumbent, having been co-opted to the role in 2021. He is a writer and editor.
- Brian Canderland – Brian is elections coordinator for the Green Party in the North West region, and Chair of Greater Manchester Federation of Green Parties. He previously served on GPRC and as chair of the North West regional party.
- Chris Holt and Alan Borgars – Chris has been involved with Lambeth Green Party, and has worked in journalism and campaigns. Alan writes an elections blog and came seventh in the 2016 Green Party deputy leadership election in which he received 1.6 per cent of the vote.
- Edward Milford – Edward served on GPEx from 2009-2013, and has been involved with Green Party election campaigning in both Camden and Herefordshire. He works in publishing, having previously ran a company specialising in sustainability issues.
External communications coordinator
- Dylan Lewis-Creser – Dylan is currently the secretary of the LGBTIQA+ Greens.
- Molly Scott Cato – Molly was the Green MEP for the South West region from 2014-2020, and served as a Councillor in Stroud from 2011-2014. She is the incumbent in the external communications coordinator post, having been elected in 2020.
- Kefentse Dennis – Kefentse is currently the party’s trade union liaison officer and the chair of Greens of Colour.
- Stacy Smith – Stacy is chief executive of a women’s charity, and stood for the Greens in the 2022 Greenwich Borough Council elections, falling short of being elected by just 68 votes.
Internal communications coordinator
- Sarra Earl and Ivan Noke – Sarra works in green tech and has worked in communications. Ivan is an admin on the ‘Support the Green Party for a Better Future’ Facebook group.
- David Farbey – David has held a voluntary position as a council member for the Institute for Scientific and Technical Communicators and is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is a member of Jewish Greens and is based in Barnet.
- Nannette Youssef and George Oatley – Nannette was a City Councillor in Norwich from 2019-22 and has served as co-chair of Norwich Green Party. Georgie has served as press officer for the Easter Region Green Party and as publications coordinator of Norwich Green Party.
- Elise Benjamin and Frank Sheridan – Elise was the first Green Party Lord Mayor of Oxford from 2011-2 and served as a City Councillor for 15 years. Frank has been on the Green Party’s international committee for the past two years.
Trade union liaison officer
- Matthew Hull – Matthew is currently the chair of the Green Party Trade Union Group, having been elected to that position in 2020. He is a case worker for the IWGB union and has served as a Unite workplace representative.
- Kate Souper and Sarah Bingham – Kate has previously worked in medicine and was a regional coordinator for Junior Doctors New Deal. Sarah has previously worked at NUS and as a magistrate.
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