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Sian Berry launches bid to be next co-leader of Green Party

Highgate councillor launches bid to share role with Jonathan Bartley

01 June, 2018 — By Richard Osley

Sian Berry in the council chamber

HIGHGATE councillor Sian Berry has put her name forward to succeed Caroline Lucas as the national co-leader of the Green Party.

She is standing on a job-share ticket with Jonathan Bartley, who has led the Greens alongside Ms Lucas for the last two years. Cllr Berry, who was re-elected in the split Highgate ward at last month’s local elections, has become one of the most high-profile members of the party beyond Camden, having also been elected to the London Assembly.

She fronted the party’s election broadcast before the council elections and has previously served as the Greens’ ‘principal speaker’, the title which was essentially used for leader in the mid-2000s.

Nominations for the role opened today (Friday) with the leadership contest running until the conference season in autumn. Ms Lucas, the Brighton MP, announced she was stepping down on Wednesday. She had been in Highgate in April helping out on the party’s election campaign in Camden.

Cllr Berry said: “I know that Caroline will be a hard act to follow but I’m ready for the challenge. We have the most organised and talented set of people in this party that I’ve ever seen, and hard-working local parties everywhere getting people elected. It will be my job to make sure they get the best leadership and policies to talk about on the doorstep, and to grow the practical support and training they get from the party too.”

If elected, she will continue as a councillor and a London Assembly member with Cllr Berry viewing all three political roles as compatible with each other. Although the Greens did not expand on one seat in the council chamber at last month’s boroughwide polls, Cllr Berry topped the polls in her ward.

The Berry-Bartley campaign will tell Green members that as co-leaders they are ready to set the party up for more election success and expand access to its training programme for new candidates. They will push for electoral reform, including at a local level.

The pitch also pledges to “increase the party’s capacity to support grassroots campaigns”, referencing HS2, airport expansion and fracking”.

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