Caroline Lucas intends to ‘break open’ politics with Green Party co-leadership bid
The Green Party's only acting MP Caroline Lucas has announced that she intends to become the Party's leader, but only as part of a joint-leadership bid with work and pensions spokesman Jonathan Bartley.
Under the slogan “The Power of Working Together”, Lucas – the MP for Brighton Pavilion – and Bartley hope to build a “modern political party to reclaim and reshape Britain”, by using co-operation to create a “watershed moment” for both the Green Party and UK politics.
Caroline Lucas said: “Jonathan Bartley and I are seeking nominations to be co-leaders of the Green Party of England and Wales because we believe that by sharing power and working together we’ll be more effective than either of us would alone.
“We both recognise the urgent need for distinctive green voices in British politics and have a vision for a better way of doing things that will tackle not just the cost of living crisis, but the quality of living crisis too. We will be honest about the need to redistribute power as well as wealth – and about the need for everything we do to be climate-proofed, rather than adding on environmental protection as an optional extra.”
— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) 31 May 2016
Lucas revealed that the job-share with Bartley would allow her to concentrate on constituency work in Brighton, where she is hoping to “completely change” policies established by the Government.
By partnering with Bartley – who stood against Labour MP Chuka Umunna for the Streatham constituency – Lucas believes that the “radical new approach” to politics will help “break open the system” in order to drive political power away from the concentrated hands of the few to a more holistic approach “owned by all citizens and accountable to them”.
Lucas and Bartley, who have pledged to put environmental and social justice at the forefront of their campaign, will bid to run an expanding party that now consists of more than 60,000 members. If Lucas is successful in her joint bid, it will be her second reign as Green Party leader, succeeding Natalie Bennett who will step down after a four-year stint as leader in August.
The Green Party’s rise, driven by both Lucas and Bennett, has seen Mayoral candidate Sian Berry land a role as a London Assembly member, after losing out in the election race to Sadiq Khan.
Berry – who had campaigned to challenge “half-hearted” efforts to tackle air pollution in London – won the largest number of second preference votes in the London Mayoral elections, in a “standout” result for the party. Berry received 468,318 of those votes, making up 21% of the total.