Greens make Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley joint leaders

Written by David Singleton on 2 September 2016 in Diary
Diary

Former leader shares job with religious thinktank founder.

The Green party's former leader Caroline Lucas and its ex-work and pensions spokesman Jonathan Bartley have been elected as joint leaders at the party’s annual conference.

The pair won an impressive 86% of first-preference votes and now take over from Natalie Bennett in the first job-share at the top of a major UK political party.

Lucas led the party from 2008-12 and is now its sole MP. In her conference speech she demanded a second EU referendum: "We stand by our guarantee to give people a voice and that's why our party says loudly and proudly we the people should continue to have our say and once the principals of any new deal have been set out, we want them put to a second referendum."

Bartley stood against Labour's Chuka Unumma as a parliamentary candidate in Streatham in the 2015 general election. While Umunna was re-elected with 53% of the vote, the Green politician came fourth with 8.9% of votes. He has also set up Ekklesia, a religious thinktank.

Lucas and Bartley were standing against five others, including the party’s longest-serving activist, 80-year-old Clive Lord. They were announced as co-leaders to the sound of 'Praise You' by Fatboy Slim.

 

 

 

 

The pair delivered their first leaders’ speech in an unusual fashion - with one person delivering one passage, before handing over to the other.

Bartley kicked off with a joke at Labour's expense: "We stand here, more united as party with two leaders than others are with one."

But the pair then gave every indidcation that they wanted to join forces with Labour as they pledged to try to strike alliances with other left-of-centre parties to defeat the Conservatives.

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."

 

 

 

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