Darren launches bid to be London’s Green Mayor

The Green Party is currently selecting its candidate and Darren is one of four Greens seeking the backing of party members. The successful candidate will be announced on 6 May, following a ballot of all London members.

Darren commented, " I was honoured to be the Green Party’s Mayoral candidate last time and would very much welcome the opportunity to represent the Party once again. I have a track record of winning elections and believe I am best placed to maximize the Green vote."

Darren Johnson, one of the Green Party’s best-known public figures, is widely acknowledged to have fought a very strong campaign as the Green Party’s Mayoral candidate in May 2000 and the Greens were rewarded with three seats on the 25-member London Assembly.

Darren has been tipped as a rising political star in this month’s Politico magazine which says, "Darren Johnson of the Greens has proved to be a popular and flamboyant member of the London Assembly. He could give the Greens an acceptable face which would help propel him into Parliament."

Darren outlined some key policy measures he wants to see implemented as Mayor:

* Reducing traffic through a £3,000 a year parking levy on company car-parking spaces and expanding the congestion charge scheme
* Halting Ken Livingstone’s plans for new road crossings in East London, declaring a complete end to roadbuilding in the capital and spending the money on new tram lines an orbital rail link and improvements for cyclists and pedestrians instead
* Promoting green industries and local economies rather than creating ever more jobs in the financial sector
* Ensuring all vital local services, such as doctors, libraries and post offices are within walking distance for everyone
* Making solar panels compulsory in all new developments to combat climate change.

Darren continued, "Ken Livingstone has introduced important initiatives, such as congestion charging and affordable housing targets, which have our support. On other issues, however, he has been a disappointment, favouring new roadbuilding, airport expansion and a London Plan that puts big business and "the City" before local communities. It is vital that we provide a genuine Green voice in this contest. Neither the Lib-Dems’ Simon Hughes nor Labour’s Nicky Gavron can provide it and Tory Steve Norris would be a disaster as Mayor."

Notes to Editors:

Darren Johnson is 36 and lives in Lewisham. He was elected to the London Assembly in May 2000 where he is Leader of the Green Party Group. He was also elected to Lewisham Council in May 2002.

Darren Johnson was the Green Party’s candidate for London Mayor last time and his candidacy drew many favourable responses. In May 2000 the Guardian said, "Johnson, who ran a strong campaign in the mayoral race, will be one of the liveliest members of the assembly." BBC journalist Mark D’Arcy wrote, "As polling day approached, Johnson seemed to be enjoying his new-found notoriety and increasingly had the air of a man who was going to be his party’s greatest ever electoral success."

Darren Johnson is one of four candidates seeking the Green Party’s nomination for the mayoral contest. The other candidates are Hugo Charlton, Jenny Jones and Tom Walsh.

For further information please contact Penny Kemp (Press Officer for Darren Johnson’s mayoral selection campaign) 07711 760 692 or 01622 890 601.



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