The Green party has announced its list of candidates to succeed Natalie Bennett as leader, with the joint ticket of Caroline Lucas, the party’s only MP, and Jonathan Bartley, its work and pensions spokesman, the clear favourite against four other candidates.
The pair are up against the party’s longest-serving activist, 80-year-old Clive Lord, who was a founder member in 1973, as well as David Malone, a film-maker, and Martie Warin and David Williams, two local councillors.
Bennett announced in May that she would not seek re-election, after four years as Green leader during which she became a well-known figurehead for the party while also receiving criticism for her occasionally vague interview style.
Lucas was the previously hierarchy-averse party’s first leader, holding the post from 2008 to 2012, and has held the parliamentary seat for Brighton Pavilion since 2010. Bartley is a former parliamentary candidate who co-runs Ekklesia, a religious thinktank.
Party members will vote to decide the winner from 25 July to 25 August, and there will be a parallel vote to choose the deputy leader. The incumbents, Shahrar Ali and Amelia Womack, will stand again against five other hopefuls.
The party holds elections for the roles every two years. This will be the fifth such election since the Greens switched from having a rotating roster of “principal speakers” to a more traditional leadership model.
Explaining further her decision not to stand again, Bennett said: “It’s been a privilege and an honour to have the title, leader of the Green party, but every member of the Green party is a leader, helping to lead the way towards a society in which we live within our environmental limits while ensuring no one fears hunger or want.”
This article was written by Peter Walker, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 5th July 2016 17.48 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010