Green Party appoints Jonathan Bartley and Sian Berry as co-leaders
The Green Party has appointed Jonathan Bartley and Sian Berry as its co-leaders, after former co-leader Caroline Lucas stepped down earlier this year.
Bartley had campaigned alongside Berry on a pledge to establish the Greens as the third biggest party in British politics – a goal that would see the party overtake the Liberal Democrats. The vow came after the party’s share of the UK vote fell from 3.8% in the 2015 general election to 1.6% in 2017.
Another key point of the Bartley-Berry leadership campaign was a commitment to support a public vote on the final Brexit deal and provide “fiercer green resistance” to policies such as fracking, fossil-fuel financing and the HS2 project.
The pair were strong favourites throughout the campaign, in which members voted throughout August. The other two candidates for the title were former deputy party leader Shahrar Ali and Leslie Rowe, who had stood for parliament in Richmond, Yorkshire, three times since 2005.
Bartley and Berry received 74% of the vote, scoring 6,239 out of 8,379 votes cast. Meanwhile, Ali received 1,466 votes whole Rowe took 495.
After receiving news of her appointment, Berry said the pair would work to champion the “opposite of vapid, old-school centrist politics” in a bid to tackle issues including climate challenges, social inequality and breaches of human rights laws.
“With Brexit on the horizon and our planet burning, the last thing people need is the stale centrism of the past, which brought us austerity and privatisation – and totally failed to tackle climate breakdown or give people real security and quality of life,” she said.
Echoing Berry’s sentiments, Bartley said his aim going forward was to help “lead a political revolt against the status quo” and “mobilise a fiercer Green resistance than ever before”.
The vote also saw incumbent deputy leader Amelia Womack re-elected with 3,981 of 7,369 total votes cast.
Congratulations @jon_bartley and @sianberry – elected as Co-Leaders with 74% of the vote. pic.twitter.com/KWachd99t7
— Green Party (@TheGreenParty) September 4, 2018
Bartley has led the opposition on Lambeth Borough Council, in south London, since May, and was elected as Green Party co-leader alongside Lucas in 2016.
Lucas stepped down from her role earlier this year, ahead of the party’s bi-annual leadership elections, in a bid to “make space for other people”, while remaining a Green MP for the Brighton Pavilion constituency.
Berry, meanwhile, has been a London Assembly member since 2016 and came third – behind Labour’s Sadiq Khan and Conservative candidate Goldsmith – in the London mayoral race that year.
She is also a councillor in the London borough of Camden, and is known for her campaigns to challenge “half-hearted” efforts to tackle air pollution across the capital.
In their campaign launch video, the pair said they were standing for “brighter green ideas” and voiced a desire to have at least one Green Party represented to every local council at the 2020 local elections. Their partnership represents the second job-share for a Westminster party to date.
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