A photo of Claire Sheppard

Bright Green is offering all the candidates standing to be on the Green Party’s list for the 2024 London Assembly election the opportunity to set out why they are understanding and their vision for London. This article is published as part of that series. The full series of articles can be found here.

I would love to be highly ranked on the London List. I’ve been working my socks off as a Green candidate for the last three years, fighting three elections.

I was the candidate for Camberwell & Peckham in the 2019 general election, making my debut against Harriet Harman; gaining the biggest swing in the constituency, more than doubling our vote, retaining our deposit and achieving the 16th highest number of Green votes nationally.

In 2022, I was a candidate in our target ward in Southwark, Nunhead and Queens Road. We increased the vote share by 199%, the largest increase in England & Wales. We didn’t win the seats but gave Labour a huge fright and plan to win in 2026.

I was the constituency candidate for Lambeth and Southwark in the 2021 London Assembly election. I’m very proud to say that I was the first  constituency candidate not from Labour or the Tories to rank second in a constituency vote, taking 19.7% of the vote, thrashing the Tories into third place. I was second only to Caroline Russell in the constituency vote. I hope to build on this in 2024, ideally across London.

I hope these stats go someway to showing what a dedicated candidate I am. When I’m selected to represent the Green Party I give my all, pounding the streets, speaking to constituents and working hard to gain their vote. People come out and campaign with me for the Green Party as they see me as someone who could make a real difference if elected.

Outside politics I have run my own ethical market research business- in the last three years I have worked on projects ranging from food insecurity, to those who need debt advice, to excluded teens with less digital education and improving HIV rates. I have a keen eye to try to work on projects that put some good into the world.

I have a young family, my husband and I both run our businesses from Peckham, South East London, where I’ve lived for the last 25 years.

I believe that working class women with caring responsibilities are underrepresented in politics. I am an advocate for Elect Her to try and encourage other women like me to run because I sincerely believe our voices need to be heard in all tiers of government.

I came to politics later in life. Despite studying it at university, I thought that politics wasn’t for people like me.

Then I discovered I had cancer, just after my son was born in 2015 and was treated at the incredible St Thomas’s opposite parliament. Every day I walked past the lines of striking junior doctors and vowed if I got through cancer I’d dedicate myself to trying to make the world a better place.

Luckily the treatment was effective and that’s what I have tried to do since. My family raised thousands of pounds to Guy’s and St Thomas’ cancer centre to thank them for saving my life.

I decided to go into politics after the experience of applying for Universal Credit in the aftermath of my new baby and cancer, and seeing how broken the system was, I believed – and still believe – I could make a difference.

One of my proudest achievements is that in 2020 I co-founded Nunhead Knocks, a community support group during Covid. We raised thousands to help support our community, doing everything from delivering prescriptions, running a foodbank from our community centre and making and delivering hot meals.

In 2022, we pivoted to offering small community grants through the cost of living crisis. In the past 3 months we have given out over £10,000 pounds to 250 households in £50 grants for food or fuel in SE15, raised almost £12,000 and delivered 13,000 leaflets to get the word out. We’re making a real difference in our community, keeping our community from choosing between heating and eating. There’s only three of us volunteering now, compared to the 1,800 volunteers we had signed up over Covid, but we’re a tiny but mighty team – much like the Greens!

Please give me a chance to work this hard for all of London, I would look out for voters across London as I look out for my own community.

I’ve been nominated by all three current London Assembly Members – they clearly think I’d be a worthy addition to the team and I hope that you do too. So I’m asking you to #sayyepforshep and rank me highly on your London List.

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