Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

Green Party announces candidate for Mayor of London

In May 2024, Londoners will go to the polls to elect a new mayor. Labour’s Sadiq Khan to seek unprecedented third term. We now know who the Green Party candidate will be.

Following a vote by London Green Party members, Zoë Garbett – a Hackney councillor since 2022 – was selected to contest the election.

Garbett defeated two other contenders in the internal contest, winning 51.2% of the vote. Islington Councillor Benali Hamdache came second with 26.5% and former London MEP Scott Ainslie came third with 20.5%.

Garbett’s candidacy has received the support of senior Greens, including the party’s only MP, Caroline Lucas, former party co-leader Siân Berry and London Assembly member Caroline Russell.

As a councillor, Garbett became known in the Green Party for her work in support of Deliveroo riders and her solidarity with the IWGB union. It also played a key role in redesigning the Greens’ drug policy.

Speaking about his selection, Garbett said: “I am delighted to have been chosen as the Green Party’s candidate for Mayor of London and I would like to say a big thank you to the London Greens for choosing me. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support and can’t wait to get started on this campaign.

She added: “I got into politics because I can’t sit back and watch the issues and people being ignored. Greens are compassionate, proactive and incredibly hardworking. And with the multiple crises we face – the cost of living and housing crisis, the crisis in our workforce and of course the climate crisis – the need for more green elected representatives has never been more urgent.

“Every day, the Greens put our values into practice – and people like what they see. Imagine what a green London could look like ! We have the energy, the ideas and the candidates to run our most ambitious campaign to date – not just to set the agenda, but to make City Hall green in 2024. “

The Green Party has come third in the last three London mayoral elections – three points ahead of the Liberal Democrats in the 2021 contest.

In 2024, the mayoral election will be held for the first time under the first-past-the-post system after the Conservative changes to the 2022 election law. In previous elections, Londoners have been able to express two preferences in elections, with the second preference being taken into account if their first preference was not in the top two places.

Dropping a preferential voting system was criticized by democracy activists. The Electoral Reform Society called it a “step backwards for voters” and said it would “lead to voters having less say in our democratic processes.

Alongside the mayoral election, London voters will also vote to elect new members to the London Assembly, a body that oversees the mayor and has the power to change the mayor’s budget. The elections to the London Assembly will still be held according to a semi-proportional system.

The Green Party also announced the candidates who will challenge the London-wide slate, the part of the election that will be elected by proportional representation.

Incumbent Assembly members Siân Berry, Caroline Russell and Zack Polanski head the Green ticket, with Garbett fourth. The full order of candidates on the party list is as follows:

  1. Siân Berry – London Assembly member, Camden Councillor and former Green Party Co-Leader
  2. Caroline Russel – London Assembly Member and Councillor for Islington
  3. Zack Polanski- Deputy Leader of the Green Party and London Assembly Member
  4. Zoe Garbett – Hackney councilman and Green Party candidate for mayor of London 2024
  5. Benali Hamdache – Islington councillor and Green Party spokesperson on migration
  6. Scott Ainslie – Lambeth Councillor and former London MEP
  7. Ria Patel – Croydon Councillor and Green Party Equalities spokesperson
  8. Nate Higgin – Councillor for Newham
  9. Claire Shepard – Camberwell and Peckham candidate in the 2019 general election
  10. Chahrar Ali – Deputy Leader of the Green Party 2014-2016
  11. Pete Elliot – Former Lambeth Councillor

The Green Party currently holds three seats in the London Assembly, all of which are elected through proportional representation. Since the creation of the London Assembly in 2000, Greens have always held between two and three seats.

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward