You may have seen on Twitter that a story in tomorrow’s Independent concerns Caroline Lucas stepping down from her role as Leader of the Green Party.
This is in fact a requirement of the Green party constitution… However, it seems she stepped down early – the Leader is able to stand for 5 terms, Caroline Lucas has stepped down after two. No doubt we will hear more of the reasons why tomorrow from the Independent story.
Caroline Lucas is a well respected politician, she will remain as an MP and she continues to serve her constituency but in the meantime the Green party is in search of a new party leader…
Caroline Lucas has succeeded in bringing the Green Party into the 21st century and managed a feat that few other minor parties have managed by securing seats in the European Parliament, council seats, control of a council, a sitting MP and London Assembly Members as well as a third place Mayoral candidacy… her time as leader has seen a number of developments for the Green party, the question is does the Green Party have anyone to fill what are certainly some very deep shoes. Whilst not everyone will agree with her politics, it is undeniable that she has been and still is a very competent politician and dealt with her role in a very accomplished manner.
So, who are the possible contenders?
The Odds on favourite is Adrian Ramsay – currently Deputy Leader of the Party…
He has certainly done very well for the Party helping the party increase its presence in areas around the country and returning the second highest parliamentary constituency vote in the 2010 General Election, however one of the advantages Caroline had was that she was a woman, she stood out from the rest of the party leaders, she had strong oratory skills, a likeable character and a determined attitude. In contrast, I have barely, or should I say rarely heard about Adrian; I have a feeling this could be a drawback…
Adam’s profile on the Green Party Website - http://www.greenparty.org.uk/people/adrian-ramsay.html
Considering her recent performance in the Mayoral Election I would argue that Jenny Jones would make a strong leader for the Green Party. However, it is obvious she will have a lot on her plate on the London Assembly keeping Boris in check… depends if she thinks she could manage it; I’d certainly see her as an A list candidate…
Edit: Jenny has since tweeted ruing herself out of the contest.
Jenny Jones’ Profile – Mayoral Campaign Website - http://www.jennyforlondon.org/about-me/
Jenny Jones’ Profile – Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2007/jun/02/jenny.jones
Other High Flyers in the Green Party and Potential Contenders include:
- Darren Johnson – Councillor and London Assembly Member
- Ashley Gunstock – ran against Caroline Lucas in the first Leadership election
- Jean Lambert MEP – represents the London region
- Keith Taylor and Derek Wall are also senior figures within the party
Links – Other Sites
BBC Article - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18054725
Full Transcript of Press Release from Green Party of England and Wales:
Caroline Lucas said: “I’m hugely honoured to have served as the first Leader of the Green Party and I’m proud that during the four years of my term, we’ve moved Green politics forward to a higher level, with the Party by far the most influential it has ever been. We’ve seen significant breakthroughs in winning our first seat at Westminster and gaining our first ever local council in Brighton and Hove. These were followed by further breakthroughs onto new Councils in the recent local elections, which were among the most successful we’ve ever had, as well as establishing ourselves as the third party, ahead of the LibDems, in the elections for London Mayor.
“I look forward to continuing to do all I can in my very demanding role as the MP for Brighton Pavilion, representing my constituents and defending them against the Coalition Government’s disastrous economic policies and its refusal to accept its environmental and social responsibilities. I will also be able to dedicate even more of my work to the political frontline, putting the Green case for change in Parliament and in all circles of national political debate.”
Cllr Darren Johnson, London Assembly Member, said: “Caroline has made a huge impact in her time as Green Party Leader and has helped shift Green politics from the margins to the mainstream of British political life. She will be an extremely hard act to follow but this is an ideal time to allow new talent to come forward.”
Jenny Jones, London Assembly Member and recent Green Mayoral Candidate said:
“The Green Party has made some massive breakthroughs in the past two years, since having Caroline as our Leader, in Parliament, in Brighton and most recently in London, where we are now the third party behind the Conservatives and Labour. Caroline’s decision not to seek re-election at this point is entirely in keeping with Green principles: it’s a strong move, allowing other talented people to come through and to take the Green Party even further forward. She has set a superb example of how to lead. Whoever is elected in her place has a tough act to follow.”
Nominations for leadership candidates are now open within the Party and will close towards the end of June. The new Leader (or Co-leaders) will take up the two year post in early September. No nominations have yet been received.
Caroline Lucas added: “We’re lucky to have a wealth of capability and experience in our Party. Now feels like the right time to step aside, to allow more of that ability to come forward and help the party to grow. I offer my very best wishes to the next Leader, whoever they may be.”
Caroline Lucas’ Article on the Guardian’s Comment is free - http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/15/caroline-lucas-why-stepping-down-green