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.
Sian Berry is replacing Caroline Lucas as co-leader of the Green Party alongside Jonathan Bartley, the party has confirmed.
Bartley and Berry jointly won 6,239 out of a total of 8,379 votes cast by the party membership. They have vowed to make the party the third biggest political party in Britain, and get a Green in every council chamber.
The party will stand as “the opposite of vapid, old school centrist politics”, they said, and promised to put forward “bright Green ideas” to answer the big challenges facing the country, including Brexit, climate change, housing and how automation is effecting the world of work.
They also promised “fiercer Green resistance” to projects such as fracking and the HS2 rail link, and to practices such as deportation and indefinite detention.
Berry has been a councillor at the London Borough of Camden since 2014. She was elected Green London Assembly member in 2016, when she also came third in the London mayoral race. Bartley has led the opposition on the London Borough of Lambeth since being elected a Streatham councillor in May this year.
Lucas, who co-led the party with Bartley since 2 September 2016, announced in May that she would not be standing in the party’s leadership contest.
Party is "buoyant"
Leadership contenders Shahrar Ali and Leslie Rowe received 1,466 and 495 votes respectively. Amelia Womack was re-elected deputy leader of the party for a third term after winning 3,981 of 7,369 votes. She will continue work on women’s rights, including the campaign to make misogyny a hate crime, as well as work on sustainable communities and the environment.
Berry said: “We’re excited to take on leading a buoyant Green Party at this crucial time for our country and party. 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.”
The Green Party currently has 39,350 members, according to data published this week by the Commons Library. The Labour Party has around 540,000 members, while the Scottish National Party has just under 125,500, the Conservatives 124,000, and the Liberal Democrats around 99,200.
Catherine Early is a freelance environmental journalist and chief reporter for the Ecologist. She was formerly the deputy editor of the Environmentalist. She can be found tweeting at @Cat_Early76.