Green Party announce job-share leadership

Caroline Lucas, the party's only MP has been re-elected at the Green Party Leader in a job-share with Jonathan Bartley, the party's work and pensions spokesman, with 86 per cent of the votes.

Former Leader Natalie Bennett announced her that she would step down from the role in May, claiming she was not a ‘spin-trained, lifelong politician’, having never been elected to the Commons.

A popular media figure, Lucas became the party's first MP in 2010 when she took the seat of Brighton Pavilion from Labour, before being re-elected in 2015 with a much-increased majority of nearly 8,000.

She has been heralded for her opposition to the ‘bedroom tax’, the benefits cap and the recent renewal of Trident. In 2008, Lucas became the Greens' first sole leader in England and Wales, after it switched from a system of having two principal speakers.

Bartley, unsuccessful in the recent London Assembly elections, most notably found himself in the media spotlight when he publicly confronted then Prime Minister David Cameron about the treatment of disabled children in the education system, following his own personal struggles with his son.

Bartley campaigned for the alternative vote in the 2011 referendum, as vice-chairman of the Yes to Fairer Votes Campaign.

Lucas and Bartley have said they want to form a ‘progressive alliance’ with Labour and other political parties, to not to stand candidates against each other in an attempt to stop the Conservatives being elected.

Speaking after the result announcement, Bartley said: “We are incredibly proud to be the first leaders of a political party in this country to be job sharing. Demonstrating both the power of working together and the importance of striking a healthy balance between work and family and other commitments. We stand here, more united as Party with two leaders than others are with one.”

Lucas added: "Green politics is about giving people real control – and that means looking forwards not backwards. Taking control of our democracy. Taking control of our railways so they are owned by the public. Taking control of the NHS, and keeping it firmly out of private hands. Taking control of our energy systems, our banking system, our schools, and our communities. They belong to all of us and the politics of hope will give all of us control."

The other contenders on the ticket were: Simon Cross, who contested the Essex seat of Rochford and Southend East in the 2015 general election; long-serving member Clive Lord; film-make David Malone; parish councillor Martie Warin; and David Williams, who leads the Green group on Oxfordshire County Council.

Amelia Womack has been re-elected as Deputy Leader. Womack stood as the Green Party’s Parliamentary Candidate for Camberwell and Peckham in 2015, and received 10.1 per cent of the vote - more than triple the party’s 2010 vote share.

Richard Mallender, chair of the Green party executive, has said that six times as many people voted as in 2012.