THE BLOG

Next Year's London Elections Are Make or Break for the Green Party

07/07/2015 21:40 BST | Updated 07/07/2016 10:59 BST

Next year's London Mayoral and Assembly elections will be a make or break moment for the Green Party.

I believe the Green Party has come of age. With Jenny Jones and Darren Johnson leaving the London Assembly after 16 years of continued, diligent service, now is the time for a new generation of Green leadership in our City.

My plan is to reach out to the whole of London. Whilst we have done incredibly well to retain our presence at City Hall in very challenging elections, we Greens' cannot advance by relying on the same kind of campaigns we have run in the past.

With the likely selection of a Tory candidate who will attempt to move into Green territory, it is particularly important that Greens move out of their comfort zone and show their widespread appeal. This won't be a referendum on air quality or climate change, but a battle for the kind of City we want London to be.

That's why I'm calling on Green Party members across London - the long-time activists and those who've joined as part of the Green surge - to seize the moment.

As the Greens' mayoral candidate, I will run a 32 borough campaign. At 12,000 members and rising, we cannot stay in our traditional strongholds and comfort zones. We simply must be a party for all of London and every Londoner. We cannot have a strategy that appeals solely to campaign and protest groups. We have to be a visible and active presence in every borough if we are to match the Labour and Tory machines.

In Lambeth, we went from fourth to first to win back a seat on Lambeth Borough Council by building our organisation, valuing the contribution of each and every member and doing the simple things really, really well. We weren't afraid to talk about the quality of our schools, the hopes of new Londoners, the resilience of our high street economy or the aspirations of younger people in the borough. We talked Lambeth up and, in this election, we need to talk London up.

Londoners feel good about London. I feel good about London. But, I've spoken to far too many Londoners who are not feeling the good vibes, even after the high point of the Paralympic and Olympic Games.

I will fight for those whose homes are under threat, as I have done successfully in Streatham and am now doing for the residents of Cressingham Gardens in Tulse Hill. And I will speak up for those whose who are suffering at the hands of the Government welfare cuts, as I did when I took on Iain Duncan Smith during the general election campaign. But I want to give every London a clear, Green offer.

London is a world-class city but too often we don't get the world-class services or the world-class jobs Londoners deserve. My offer to Londoners is this: I will deliver good jobs for young people, affordable homes for every family, opportunities for new Londoners, stronger local economies and a transport network we can all be proud of. This is a practical, no-nonsense offer for a world-class city.

I want Green Party members in the capital to seize this once in a generation moment and back my campaign to lead London's Green Party as our candidate for Mayor.