The election of Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley as co-leaders of the UK's Green Party is an historic 'first' for any Westminster Party.
UK Green Party elects new co-leaders who promise a ‘Green Guarantee' new industrial revolution
2nd September, 2016
The new co-leadership of the Green Party is an historic first for any Westminster Party with the duo promising to rejuvenate British democracy by putting voters back in control. They also want a second referendum on the terms of our exit from Europe
We are resolute in wanting to explore the potential for progressive alliances with other parties that will deliver fair votes
The Green Party of England and Wales has elected Jonathan Bartley and Caroline Lucas as its new co-leaders.
The pair - who won the overwhelming support of the party's membership - have today promised policies that enable people to ‘take control' of their lives.
In their first speech to the Green Party Conference, delivered today at the University of Birmingham, Bartley and Lucas said the party is now uniquely poised to bring forward proposals to tackle the ‘age of insecurity' plaguing Britain.
At the core of their plan is a ‘Green Industrial Strategy' which, they say, would deliver ‘real security and prosperity' by creating well-paid, low carbon jobs in every part of the country, make Britain a world leader in renewable technologies and give local communities the chance to create their own energy.
They also pledged to take forward work on a ‘Basic Income,' which provides everyone with a decent standard of living and helps protect against the ill effects of short-term contracts, low pay and job insecurity.
In the speech, they said: "Imagine a new plan that will meet our obligations to future generations - a plan that will create jobs in every part of the country.
"Imagine local communities, empowered to take control of their own energy futures. Imagine Britain as a world leader in renewable technology. Our Green Guarantee means a new industrial revolution that will work for everyone."
Bartley and Lucas' co-leadership of the Green Party is a first for a Westminster party.
In their speech they also reinforced the Green Party's position following the European Referendum by calling for a second referendum on the terms of exit, and proper parliamentary scrutiny of the process.
Bartley and Lucas also gave a ‘cast iron pledge to put people in control' by rejuvenating British democracy. At the core of such a proposal is a commitment to a fair voting system for the House of Commons and a pledge for constitutional reform. They also laid out their blueprint for a new political settlement built on progressive alliances to beat the Conservatives at the next election through a form of pact with proportional representation at its core.
They said: "Every vote needs to count. So we are resolute in wanting to explore the potential for progressive alliances with other parties that will deliver fair votes.
"We are the Party of ideas and this is a big one. So we need to have a proper conversation, starting here at conference and continuing in our local parties, in our communities."
Amelia Womack was announced as Deputy Leader. Amelia was first elected in 2014 and at 31 and is the youngest Deputy Leader of any UK political party. She led strongly in the Greens' European Referendum campaign and set up Greens for a Better Europe. She has also championed social and environmental rights across the UK visiting hundreds of local parties.
Amelia said: "I am thrilled and honoured to be re-elected as Deputy Leader to continue my work for the party. I look forward to working in such a formidable leadership team, and with such strong support from our membership I know that we can take the Party forward."
Next week Bartley and Lucas, along withAmelia, will make a statement setting out plans for their first weeks as the leadership team.
Their proposals will include an ‘Equalities Commission' to ensure the Green Party better represents marginalized communities, and a plan to launch a conversation within the party on progressive alliances.
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