Benali Hamdache speaking into a microphone

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 standing and their vision for London. This article is published as part of that series. The full series of articles can be found here.

At the last London Assembly elections we were just 1.8% away from electing a 4th Assembly Member. I was that fourth Green on the list and I’m running again to get the job done and secure our biggest ever group at City Hall. To get Green ideas into action and to deliver the change London urgently needs.

It should be a serious goal to hold the balance of power in the London Assembly. Back in the early 2000s, Ken Livingstone had to rely on Green votes to get his budget over the line. We were able to deliver climate action and social justice on an unprecedented scale. To make that happen again we need to be seriously working towards electing four or five London Assembly Members.

I was the campaign manager at the last London Assembly elections, the most successful in our history. From that experience I know exactly what we need from our London Assembly candidates. A willingness to support campaign days all over London. Ideas to bring to the manifesto and our campaign. A team player who will work well with staff and other candidates. I know I can bring all of that to our campaign.

We need Assembly candidates who have the experience and ability to scrutinise the Mayor and campaign to win change. As a Councillor I’m doing this in Islington. I’ve successfully brought and passed motions in support of Trade Union rights and Proportional Representation. I’m working with my colleagues on budget amendments that protect the borough’s poorest, improve social housing and deliver climate action.

For the last decade I’ve worked for a variety of causes. Working on migrants rights, disability rights, staying in the EU and protecting children. I have the experience of taking policy ideas, turning them into engaging campaigns and getting decision makers to act. I’ve successfully defeated cuts to NHS frontline services, overturned homophobic health education guidance and helped improve the disability benefits system. I’d bring that knowledge to the London Assembly to challenge our Mayor to do better.

In the Green Party I’ve also led on a variety of manifestos. I led the writing of our 2015 BAME Manifesto and our 2015 and 2017 LGBTIQA+ manifestos. I also co-authored Islington Green Party’s 2022 manifesto. I’ve won praise from NGOs, campaigners and activists for these documents. I’ve been laser focused on ensuring underrepresented groups see themselves represented by the Green Party, and make the change to vote for us.

Winning over new voters, and moving outside of our white middle class stereotype has to be a priority. I’m proud of my heritage. Half British and half Algerian. Working class. A gay man. A Green. I bring my lived experience to my work as a Green. Fighting against discrimination in hiring and championing action against poverty. We need to make sure our team at City Hall is diverse and that’s a huge part of why I’m standing.

I’m also currently our party’s spokesperson for refugees and migrants. I have a track record of getting our positive Green message into the national media. I’m published in newspapers. I’m effective at social media. I can bring that experience to our campaign.

Finally we have to be unapologetically bold about our big Green ideas. The planet and people are in crisis, let down by this awful Conservative government. We need to focus on transformative ideas that will grab headlines and deliver real change. Throughout this campaign I’ve spoken about rent controls, more devolved powers for London and creative ways to take on austerity. With your 1st preference vote I’ll be a loud voice for those big bold ideas.

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