The Green Party has selected Sian Berry as their candidate for next May’s London Mayoral election.
Transport campaigner Sian, who was elected as a Councillor on Camden Council last year, won an extremely close contest following a month-long internal selection process and a ballot of all London Green Party members.
(From left to right) Green Party Leader Natalie Bennet and current London Assembly member Jenny Jones at the announcement of Sian Berry's candidacy
A former Principal Speaker, Sian has also served as the Party's national campaigns co- ordinator. This is the second time she has represented the party in its London elections, having stood as the Green Party's candidate for London Mayor in 2008, running a successful campaign that took the Greens from 7th to 4th and winning the backing of the Independent and Observer.
Green Party members, journalists, and community and campaign groups from across London attended the announcement which was held at the Tenants Hall of the threatened West Kensington Estate. The result was read-out by Green Party Baroness, outgoing London Assembly Member, and former Mayoral candidate Jenny Jones.
In her acceptance speech, Sian announced that if elected as Mayor she would seek to block the Earl's Court regeneration plans and support residents taking over the redevelopment of the West Kensington and Gibbs Greens estates. This would be the first of many resident-led renewal schemes, after estate regeneration under Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson led to a net loss of over 8,000 social rented homes in a decade. Sian and fellow Assembly list candidates also pledged to win the balance of power on the Assembly to block the Earl's Court scheme, as Green Assembly Members did with the Thames Gateway Bridge under Ken Livingstone.
Sian said: “For most Londoners, including me, housing is the absolute key problem to sort out, and one that might drive us away from our city altogether. Greens in City Hall are already working on ways to give people back the power to shape their own communities, estates and new building projects, and the community here in West Kensington is showing us the way forward as well.
"We must act to stop the need everyone has to put a decent roof over their heads from being exploited, and find new ways of making London truly affordable again. London belongs to all of us, and the Green campaign will work with citizens and communities all over the city to win more power for the people next May.”
As well as declaring the outcome of the Mayoral contest, the Green Party also announced the 11 members who were successfully selected to represent the party as Assembly candidates next May. Topping the list was Sian Berry, followed by Islington Councillor Caroline Russell, Green Party Work and Pensions Spokesperson Jonathan Bartley and former London Assembly Member Noel Lynch. Shahrar Ali, Rashid Nix, Tom Chance, Benali Hamdache, Dee Searle, Andrea Carey-Fuller and RoseMary Warrington complete the list.
Following a recent surge in membership and support, the Green Party is tipped to perform extremely well in next May’s London elections. The party already has two members on the London Assembly, Jenny Jones and Darren Jones, and finished third in the last Mayoral contest in 2012.
Sian Berry was the Green Party's candidate for London Mayor in 2008, running a successful campaign that took the Greens from 7th to 4th and winning the backing of the Independent and Observer. A former Principal Speaker, she has also served as the Party's national campaigns co- ordinator.
Sian was elected as Green councillor for Highgate in Camden in 2014. There she has won a £1 million fund to stop libraries and community centres closing, and is challenging cuts to social housing in the King's Cross redevelopment. As a successful transport campaigner, she founded the Alliance Against Urban 4x4s, which persuaded then Mayor Ken Livingstone to introduce a higher congestion charge for the most polluting cars.
Sian's campaign for selection as Mayoral and Assembly candidate was backed by Caroline Lucas MP, Green Party deputy leader Amelia Womack and Sarah Cope, Chair of Green Party Women, among many others.
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