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Green Party of England and Wales

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Title: Green Party of England and Wales  
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Subject: Brighton and Hove City Council election, 2007, Brent London Borough Council election, 2010, Oxford City Council election, 2002, Birmingham City Council election, 2015, Mid Suffolk District Council election, 2015
Collection: 1990 Establishments in the United Kingdom, Anti-Austerity Political Parties in the United Kingdom, Anti-Capitalist Political Parties, Articles Containing Video Clips, Basic Income in the United Kingdom, European Green Party, Global Greens Member Parties, Green Party of England and Wales, Non-Interventionist Parties, Parties Represented in the European Parliament, Political Parties Established in 1990, Political Parties in England, Political Parties in Wales, Republicanism in the United Kingdom
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Green Party of England and Wales

Green Party of England and Wales
Leader Natalie Bennett
Deputy leaders
Founded 1990 (1990)
Preceded by Green Party (UK)
Headquarters Development House,
56-64 Leonard Street, London, EC2A 4LT
Youth wing Young Greens of England and Wales
Membership  (2015) 65,964 [1]
Political position Left-wing[2][3][4]
International affiliation Global Greens
European affiliation European Green Party
European Parliament group The Greens–European Free Alliance
Colours      Green
House of Commons[5]
1 / 650
House of Lords[6]
1 / 819
European Parliament English & Welsh seats
3 / 64
London Assembly
2 / 25
Welsh Assembly
0 / 60
Local government (England & Wales)[7]
166 / 19,031
Politics of United Kingdom
Political parties
Part of a series on
Green politics
Sunflower symbol

The Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW; Welsh: Plaid Werdd Cymru a Lloegr) is a left-wing, Green political party in England and Wales.[3][4] Headquartered in London, its current leader is Natalie Bennett. The Green Party has one Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, one representative in the House of Lords, and three Members of the European Parliament. It has various councillors in UK local government and two members of the London Assembly.[7][8][9][10]

The party's primary emphasis has been on environmentalism and political ecology, resulting in some interpretations of it as a "single issue" party. However, it also has a history of support for communitarian economic policies, including well-funded, locally controlled public services within the confines of a steady state economy, and it supports proportional representation.[11] It also takes a progressive approach to social policies such as civil liberties, animal rights, LGBTIQ[note 1] rights and drug policy reform. The party also believes strongly in nonviolence, basic income, a living wage,[12] and democratic participation.[13] The party comprises various regional divisions, including the semi-autonomous Wales Green Party. Internationally, the party is affiliated to the Global Greens and the European Green Party.

The Green Party of England and Wales was established in 1990 alongside the Green Party of Scotland and the Green Party of Northern Ireland through the division of the pre-existing Green Party, a group which had originally been established as the PEOPLE Party in 1973. Experiencing centralising reforms spearheaded by the Green 2000 group in the early 1990s, the party sought to emphasis growth in local governance, doing so throughout the 1990s. In 2010, the party gained its first MP in Caroline Lucas, who represents the constituency of Brighton Pavilion.[14]


  • History 1
    • Origins 1.1
    • Early years: 1990–2008 1.2
    • Caroline Lucas (2008–12) 1.3
    • Natalie Bennett (2012–) 1.4
  • Ideology and Policy 2
    • Core values 2.1
    • 2015 manifesto 2.2
    • Defence 2.3
    • Drug policy 2.4
    • LGBTIQ rights 2.5
    • Governance 2.6
  • Constitution, Leadership and Membership 3
    • Constitution 3.1
    • Conferences 3.2
    • Leadership 3.3
    • Executive 3.4
    • Regional Council 3.5
    • Membership and finances 3.6
    • Support base 3.7
  • Electoral representation 4
    • House of Commons 4.1
    • House of Lords 4.2
    • Local governance 4.3
  • Subgroups 5
    • Wales Green Party 5.1
    • Young Greens 5.2
    • Other groups 5.3
  • See also 6
  • Notes 7
  • References 8
    • Sources 8.1
  • External links 9



The Green Party of England and Wales has its origins in the PEOPLE Party, which was founded in Coventry in 1973.[15] PEOPLE was renamed as The Ecology Party in 1975,[15] and in 1985 changed again to the Green Party.[16] In 1989 the party's Scottish branch split to establish the independent Scottish Green Party, with an independent Green Party of Northern Ireland developing shortly after, leaving those branches in England and Wales to form their own party.[17] The Green Party of England and Wales is registered with the Electoral Commission as simply the Green Party.[18]

In the 1989 European Parliament elections, the Green Party of England and Wales polled 15% of the vote with 2.3 million votes, the best ever performance of a Green party in a nationwide election.[19] This gave it the third largest share of the vote after the Conservative and Labour parties, although because of the first-past-the-post voting system it failed to gain a Member of the European Parliament (MEP).[20] This success has been attributed to both the increased respectability of environmentalism and the effects of the development boom in southern England during the late 1980s.[21]

Early years: 1990–2008

Seeking to capitalise on the Greens' success in the EP elections, a group named

  • The Green Party of England and Wales

External links

Birch, Sarah (2009). "Real Progress: Prospects for Green Party Support in Britain". Parliamentary Affairs 62 (1): 53–71. 
Burchell, Jon (2000). "Here Comes the Greens (Again): The Green Party in Britain during the 1990s". Environmental Politics 9 (3): 145–150. 
Carter, N.; Rootes, C. (2006). "The Environment and the Greens in the 2005 Elections in Britain". Environmental Politics 15. 
Doherty, B. (1992). "The Autumn 1991 Conference of the UK Green Party". Environmental Politics 1 (2): 292–297. 
Evans, G. (1993). "Hard Times for the British Green Party". Environmental Politics 2 (2): 327–333. 
Jones, R. (2006). "Can Environmentalism and Nationalism be Reconciled? The Plaid Cymru/Green Party Alliance, 1991–1995". Regional & Federal Studies 16: 315–332. 
McCulloch, Alistair (1992). "The Green Party in England and Wales: Structure and Development: The Early Years". Environmental Politics 1 (3): 418–436. 
Pattie, C. J.; Russell, A. T.; Johnston, R. J. (1991). "Going Green in Britain ? Votes for the Green Party and Attitudes to Green Issues in the Late 1980s". Journal of Rural Studies 7 (3): 285–297. 
Rootes, Chris (1995). "Britain: Greens in a Cold Climate". The Green Challenge: The Development of Green Parties in Europe. Dick Richardson and Chris Rootes. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 66–90. 


  1. ^ Natalie Bennett: 'Politics is changing, Corbyn could be next PM'.
    'The Green party currently has 65,964 members, an overall increase of about 4,000 since polling day, but a fall of just over 1,000 since August'.
    The Guardian [online], published 25/09/15, sourced 25/09/15.
  2. ^ a b "A UKIP of the left". Birmingham, UK: The Economist. 13 September 2014. Archived from the original on 12 September 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2015. The Green Party embraces left-wing populism 
  3. ^ a b The Independent - Election 2015: Green Party want to give disgruntled left-wing voters a new voice Author - Morris, Nigel. The Independent [online]. Date retrieved 5 March 2015. Date published 3 September 2014.
  4. ^ a b Bakker, Ryan; Jolly, Seth; Polk, Jonathan. "Mapping Europe’s party systems: which parties are the most right-wing and left-wing in Europe?".  
  5. ^ "Current State of the Parties". Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "Members of the House of Lords: Other parties". Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c "Local Council Political Compositions". Keith Edkins. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Green Party - Elections". The Green Party of England and Wales. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Fourth Solihull Lib Dem councillor defects to Greens in protest". Birmingham Post. 21 February 2014. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "Elmdon Councillor Jean Hamilton joins Green Party" (Press release). Solihull Green Party. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "Green Party - Statement of Core Values - Europe". The Green Party. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  12. ^ "The Green Party calls for a £10 minimum wage for all". The Green Party of England and Wales. Archived from the original on 20 March 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015. Minimum wage should be raised to Living Wage levels immediately 
  13. ^ a b "Statement of Core Values". The Green Party. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "Election 2010 – Constituency – Brighton Pavilion".  
  15. ^ a b Rootes 1995, p. 66; Birch 2009, p. 54.
  16. ^ McCulloch 1992, p. 421; Birch 2009, p. 54.
  17. ^ Birch 2009, p. 54.
  18. ^ "The Electoral Commission – Register of political parties – Green Party".  
  19. ^ Pattie, Russell & Johnston 1991, p. 286; McCulloch 1992, p. 422; Rootes 1995, pp. 68–69; Burchell 2000, p. 145; Birch 2009, p. 54.
  20. ^ Pattie, Russell & Johnston 1991, p. 286; Birch 2009, p. 54.
  21. ^ Rootes 1995, pp. 69–72.
  22. ^ McCulloch 1992, p. 422; Burchell 2000, p. 145.
  23. ^ Burchell 2000, p. 145.
  24. ^ Burchell 2000, pp. 145–146.
  25. ^ McCulloch 1992, p. 422.
  26. ^ Birch 2009, p. 68.
  27. ^ Rootes 1995, p. 75.
  28. ^ a b c Burchell 2000, p. 146.
  29. ^ Burchell 2000, p. 148.
  30. ^ Rootes 1995, p. 79; Burchell 2000, p. 146.
  31. ^ a b c Burchell 2000, p. 147.
  32. ^ a b Birch 2009, p. 55.
  33. ^ Burchell 2000, pp. 145, 149.
  34. ^ Burchell 2000, pp. 149–150; Birch 2009, p. 55.
  35. ^ "European Election: United Kingdom Result". Vote 2004 (BBC). Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  36. ^ a b c Birch 2009, p. 56.
  37. ^ a b Birch 2009, p. 67.
  38. ^ "GPEx Candidates". Green Party. Tracy Dighton-Brown. Archived from the original on 27 July 2010. 
  39. ^ "2009 European Elections". Green Party. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  40. ^ "Results: Brighton Pavilion". Election 2010 (BBC). Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  41. ^ "General Election 2010". Green Party of England and Wales. 2010. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  42. ^ McCarthy, Michael (14 May 2012). "Green Party leader Caroline Lucas steps aside to aid fight against Lib Dems". The Independent (London). 
  43. ^ "New Leader and Deputy Leader announcement" (Press release). Green Party. 3 September 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012. 
  44. ^ Jowit, Juliette (5 August 2004). "Green party elects Natalie Bennett as leader".  
  45. ^ "Natalie Bennett elected new Green Party leader in England and Wales". BBC News. 3 September 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  46. ^ "Newweb > About the Council > News". 
  47. ^ "Local Elections Results May 2014". 
  48. ^ "Election results for 22 May 2014". Lewisham Council. 22 May 2014. Archived from the original on 23 May 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  49. ^ "Highbury East Ward". 
  50. ^ "Who is representing you in Lambeth? - Love Lambeth". 
  51. ^ "Vote 2014 Election Results for the EU Parliament UK regions - BBC News". 
  52. ^ "South West". 
  53. ^ Derek Wall. "Another Green World". 
  54. ^ Wintour, Patrick (2 December 2014). "Green party membership doubles to 27,600 as Ukip’s reaches 40,000". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  55. ^ "Norwich South Polls (full tables)" (PDF). Norwich South: Lord Ashcroft Polls. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  56. ^ Helm, Toby (19 October 2014). "Confident Greens eye 12 seats in England". The Observer (London). 
  57. ^ "ManchesterYoungGreen on Twitter". Twitter. 
  58. ^ Opinion polling for the 2015 United Kingdom general election
  59. ^ "YouGov / The Sun Survey Results" (PDF). YouGov: What the world thinks. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  60. ^ Harris, John (25 October 2014). "The Green party surge – and why it's coming from Bristol and all points west". The Guardian (London). 
  61. ^ Gander, Kashmira (2 December 2014). "Green Party membership doubles in England and Wales". The Independent (London). 
  62. ^ "Election 2015: Odds for Green Party to claim Bristol West fall from 100/1 to 7/2". The Bristol Post. 31 March 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  63. ^ "#GreenSurge on Twitter". Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  64. ^ Mason, Rowena (15 January 2015). "Green membership surge takes party past Lib Dems and Ukip". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  65. ^ "Election 2015: Ahead of tonight's debate, Tories predicted to win most seats but lose power". New Statesman. 2 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  66. ^ "Election Live - 3 April - BBC News (10:29 - Poll of Polls)". BBC News. 3 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015. Ukip are in third place on 13.3%, the Liberal Democrats are fourth on 7.8% and the Greens are fifth on 5.4%. However, it is too soon to judge whether the leaders' debate has had any impact upon levels of support, PA says. 
  67. ^ "UK vote share". BBC News. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  68. ^ "'"Bennett leads 'second green surge. The Westmorland Gazette; Press Association. Retrieved 10 May 2015. We've had a good start in the last 24 hours – we've had about 1,000 more people join the Green Party so our membership has gone over 63,000, which means we are much bigger than Ukip and the Liberal Democrats. 
  69. ^ "Elections 2015: Green Party loses Brighton Council to Labour". BBC. 10 May 2015. 
  70. ^ "England council results". BBC News. 2015. Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  71. ^ Rootes 1995, p. 76.
  72. ^ a b "Policies for a Sustainable Society". Green Party. 23 September 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  73. ^ Tatchell, Peter. "Why I joined the Greens". Red Pepper Magazine. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  74. ^ "Philosophical Basis of the Green Party". The Green Party of England and Wales. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  75. ^ "Green Party: Mini Manifesto 2015". The Green Party of England and Wales. 2015. 
  76. ^ Rootes 1995, p. 77.
  77. ^ Burns, Malcolm (19 January 2015). "SNP, Plaid Cymru And Green Party Team Up On Trident Nuclear Weapons". Morning Star. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  78. ^ "'"Total madness? Green Party to cut British Army, replace with 'home defense force. RT. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  79. ^ "Peace & Defence". We would take the UK out of NATO unilaterally. 
  80. ^ "GPDG: news, research and ecstasy testing kits". Green Party Drugs Group. Archived from the original on 14 March 2004. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  81. ^ "'"Green Party leader Natalie Bennett: Drugs misuse a 'health issue' not a 'criminal one. (ITV News). 1 December 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  82. ^ Barnett, Ian (31 March 2015). "Decriminalisation of cannabis not the same as legalisation". Burnley Express. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  83. ^ "Green Party LGBT Group Website". 17 May 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  84. ^ a b "LGBTIQ Greens elect new committee". LGBTIQ Greens. 
  85. ^ "EQUALITY FOR ALL" (PDF). Green Party of England and Wales. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  86. ^ Duffy, Nick (1 May 2015). "Green Party wants every teacher to be trained to teach LGBTIQ issues". Pink News. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  87. ^ Bingham, John (27 July 2012). "Green council accused of 'vilifying' Christian over gay marriage stance". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  88. ^ Birch 2009, p. 65.
  89. ^ Freeman, Melissa. "Yes to an EU Referendum: Green MP calls for chance to build a better Europe". The Green Party of England and Wales. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  90. ^ Bennett, Natalie (23 January 2013). "Natalie Bennett unveils our "Three Yeses" to Europe". The Green Party of England and Wales. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  91. ^ Riley-Smith, Ben. "Green leader Natalie Bennett suggests the monarchy should be abolished". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  92. ^ Bartlett, Evan (January 2015). "The Green Party says it wants to put the Queen in a council house". The Independent. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  93. ^ "Give The Queen A Council House, Say Greens". 24 January 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  94. ^ "How does British politics operate?". Green Party of England and Wales. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  95. ^ a b c d "Green Party Constitution (only available to party members from the Members' Website or the Policy Coordinator". Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  96. ^ "Greens vote to have single leader". BBC News. 30 November 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  97. ^ Ryan, Rosalind (16 October 2007). "Greens elect new spokeswoman". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  98. ^ "Siân Berry and Dr. Derek Wall elected as Principal Speakers" (Press release). Green Party. 3 June 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  99. ^ "The Green Party National Executive". Green Party. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  100. ^ "BREAKING: Results announced for GPEx elections 2015". Bright Green. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  101. ^ a b "The Green Party of England and Wales – Report and Financial Statements – Year ended 31 December 2010" (PDF). The Green Party of England and Wales. p. 4. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  102. ^ "Green Party - Green Party Membership up 100% since January 1, 2014". 
  103. ^ "Green Party says it has more members than UKIP". 15 January 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
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  115. ^ "The Green Party of England and Wales – Report and Financial Statements – Year ended 31 December 2013". The Green Party of England and Wales. p. 4. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  116. ^ Bell, Matthew. "Green party membership - shoots of something bigger?". Channel 4 News (UK). Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  117. ^ Natalie Bennett: 'Politics is changing, Corbyn could be next PM'.
    'The Green party currently has 65,964 members'.
    The Guardian [online], published 25/09/15, sourced 25/09/15.
  118. ^ Birch 2009, p. 61.
  119. ^ Birch 2009, p. 53.
  120. ^ Rootes 1995, p. 85.
  121. ^ Birch 2009, pp. 58–59.
  122. ^ Birch 2009, pp. 59–60.
  123. ^ Birch 2009, p. 64.
  124. ^ "BBC Democracy Live - Introductions". BBC Democracy Live. 
  125. ^ "Introduction: Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb: 5 Nov 2013: House of Lords debates - TheyWorkForYou". 
  126. ^ Rootes 1995, p. 68; Birch 2009, pp. 56, 65.
  127. ^ Birch 2009, p. 66.
  128. ^ "Guide to the 2010 European and local elections". BBC News. BBC. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  129. ^ "Wales Green Party Website". Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  130. ^ Wales Green Party votes in New Deputy Wales Green Party, 16 January 2014
  131. ^ "Young Greens Website". Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  132. ^ "Green Party Trades Union Group Website". Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  133. ^ "Monetary Reform Policy Working Group of the Green Party of England and Wales". Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  134. ^ "Launch Statement of Green Left". The Green Left. 4 June 2006. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 


  1. ^ LGBTIQ stands for "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and questioning". See LGBT#Variants for more information.
  2. ^ See proposed referendum on United Kingdom membership of the European Union.
  3. ^ According to the Launch Statement of Green Left, published in 2006.


See also

The Green Left group, nicknamed The Watermelons, represents some of the anti-capitalists, eco-socialists "and other radicals" in the party who want to engage with the broader left-wing political movements in the UK, and attract left-wing activists to the Green Party.[note 3][134]

Several active groups within the party are designed to address certain areas of policy or representation. These include the Green Party Trades Union Group,[132] The Green Economics Policy Working Group, the Monetary Reform Policy Working Group,[133] and others. The historical centrist faction known as Green 2000 sought to achieve a Green Party government by the year 2000; the group fell apart in the early 1990s.

Other groups

The youth wing of the Green Party, the Young Greens (of England and Wales), has developed independently from around 2002, and is for all Green Party members aged 18 to 30 years old. The Young Greens have their own constitution, national committee, campaigns and meetings, and have become an active presence at Green Party Conferences and election campaigns. There are now many Young Greens groups on UK university, college and higher-education institution campuses. Many Green Party councillors are Young Greens, as are some members of GPEx and other internal party organs.[131]

Young Greens

The WGP contests elections for the National Assembly for Wales (as well as at the local, UK and European level) and has its own newsletters, membership list, AGMs and manifesto. Members of the WGP are automatically members of the GPEW.

The Wales Green Party (WGP) leader is Pippa Bartolotti,[129] and the Deputy Leader is Anthony Slaughter.[130]

Wales Green Party


The party has representation at local government level in England. The party has limited representation on most councils on which it is represented, and was in minority control of Brighton and Hove City Council from 2011 to 2015,[7][9][128] and Caroline Lucas is currently the MP for Brighton Pavilion.

From the early 1990s until 2009, the number of Green local councillors rose from zero to over 100.[36]

Local governance

The party's first life peer was Tim Beaumont, who died in 2008.[127]

House of Lords

Throughout the party's history, representation at the House of Commons has been hindered by the first-past-the-post voting system which has entrenched a two-party system by encouraging the view that supporting a third party is a wasted vote.[126]

House of Commons

The party has one Member of Parliament, one member of the House of Lords, three Members of the European Parliament and two Members of the London Assembly.[124][125]

A map showing the representation of the Green Party at various levels of English local government as of May 2014. Counties, including Greater London, are in light green; districts, boroughs, and unitary authorities are in dark green.

Electoral representation

Sarah Birch noted that sociological polling revealed a "strong relationship" between individuals having voted for the Liberal Democrats in the past and holding favourable views of the Green Party, thus noting that the two groups were comepting for "similar sorts of voters".[123]

According to political scientist Sarah Birch, the Green Party draws support from "a wide spectrum of the population".[119] In 1995, sociologist Chris Rootes stated that the Green Party "appeals disproportionately to younger, highly educated professional people" although noted that this support base was "not predominantly urban".[120] In 2009, Birch noted that the Green's strongest areas of support were Labour-held seats in university towns or urban areas with relatively large student populations.[121] She noted that there were also strong correlations between areas of high Green support and high percentages of people who define themselves as having no religion.[122]

"Green voters have tended to be younger and better educated than the electorate at large, and they are known to be more likely than most voters to work in the public sector. In terms of values, Green voters have been found to be more often than not on the left of the political spectrum, and they have been more likely than the average voter to hold post-materialist values, including support for environmental protection."

— Sarah Birch, 2009[118]

Support base

Membership (at end of year unless otherwise stated)
2015 (September)[117]

Membership increased rapidly in 2014, more than doubling in that year.[102] On 15 January 2015, the Green Party claimed that the combined membership of the UK Green parties (Green Party of England and Wales, Scottish Green Party, and Green Party in Northern Ireland) had risen to 43,829 members, surpassing UKIP's membership of 41,966, and making it the third-largest UK-wide political party in the UK in terms of membership.[103][104] On 14 January 2015, UK newspaper The Guardian had reported that membership of the combined UK Green Parties was closing on those of UKIP and the Liberal Democrats, but noted that it lagged behind that of the Scottish National Party (SNP), which has a membership of 92,187 members but is not a UK-wide party.[105]

According to accounts filed with the Electoral Commission, for the year ending 31 December 2010 the party had an income of £770,495 with expenditure of £889,867.[101]

Membership and finances

Each Regional Green Party elects two members by postal ballot to be sent to the GPRC. These delegates' terms last two years before re-election. GPRC meets at least four times a year. The Council elects male and female Co-Chairs and a Secretary. GPEx members are often required to give reports on their area of responsibility to the GPRC; the GPRC also has the power to recall any member of GPEx (by a two-thirds majority vote), who is then suspended until a re-election for the post is held; similarly, if GPEx suspends one of its own members, GPRC has the authority to decide whether that member should be reinstated or not (again, by a two-thirds majority vote).[95]

GPRC is a body that coordinates discussions between Regional Green Parties. It supports the Executive (GPEx) and is responsible for interim policy statements between Conferences and enforcing constitutional procedures.[95]

Oxfordshire Green Party hosting a "Green Fair"

Regional Council

GPEx positions are elected annually by postal ballot or by a vote at conference, depending on the number of candidates. To become a member of the Executive, the candidate must have been a member of the party for at least two years, or, if the candidate has been a member for one complete year preceding the date of close of nominations, their nomination will be allowed if it is supported by a majority of Green Party Regional Council (GPRC) members in attendance at a quorate official GPRC meeting.

Green Party of England and Wales Executive (GPEx)
Leader Natalie Bennett
Deputy Leader Amelia Womack and Shahrar Ali
Chair Richard Mallender
Elections Co-ordinator Judy Maciejowska
Equality and Diversity Co-ordinator Charlene Concepcion and Manishta Sunnia
External Communications Co-ordinator Penny Kemp, Clare Phipps, and Matt Hawkins
Finance Co-ordinator Philip Igoe
Internal Communications Co-ordinator Clifford Fleming
International Co-ordinator Derek Wall
Local Party Support Co-ordinator Thom French
Management Co-ordinator Mark Cridge
Policy Co-ordinator Samantha Pancheri and Sam Riches
Publications Co-ordinator Dee Searle
Campaigns Co-ordinator Howard Thorp
Young Greens Co-ordinator Siobhan MacMahon and Clifford Fleming
Trade Union Liaison Officer Romayne Phoenix

As of 1 September 2015, the GPEx consists of the following positions:[99][100]

GPEx is responsible for the day-to-day running of the party, and meets around ten times a year. The party elects its National Executive Committee each year before its Autumn Conference.


The Green Party had in the past chosen not to have a single leader for ideological reasons; its organisation provided for two Principal Speakers, a male and female Principal Speaker, who sat but did not vote on GPEx. The final Principal Speakers were Lucas,[97] Siân Berry, and Derek Wall.[98]

A referendum of the party membership in 2007 on the question of creating a Leader and Deputy Leader – or, if candidates choose to run together and are gender balanced, Co-Leaders without a Deputy Leader – passed by 73%. The leaders would be elected every two years, instead of annually, and would be able to vote on the GPEx.[96]

Natalie Bennett has been the leader of the Green Party since September 2012.


The Green Party of England and Wales holds a spring and an autumn conference every year. The autumn conference is the party's "supreme forum", with elections to the Green Party Executive (GPEx), committees and other bodies; the conference held in the spring, although having the same powers as the autumn conference on policy and organisational votes, holds elections only for vacant posts, and can have its priorities decided by the preceding autumn conference.[95]


The Constitution of the Green Party of England and Wales governs all of the party's activities, from the selection of election candidates by local parties, to nominations for the House of Lords, and so on. The Constitution states "openness, accountability and confidentiality" in its decision-making guidelines. It can be amended by a two-thirds majority vote at a Conference or by a two-thirds majority in a ballot of the membership.[95]


Constitution, Leadership and Membership

Natalie Bennett, has said that she supports an abolition of the monarchy as the head of state, and fully supports British Republicanism.[91] Bennett has even suggested the Queen be placed into a council house if the Green Party were in power,[92][93] and the Green Party officially states that they believe there is "no place in government for the hereditary principle".[94]

'Yes to the EU' does not mean we are content with the union continuing to operate as it has in the past. There is a huge democratic deficit in its functioning, a serious bias towards the interests of neoliberalism and 'the market', and central institutions have been overbuilt. But to achieve those reforms we need to work with fellow EU members, not try to dictate high handedly to them, as David Cameron has done.[90]

The party supports a referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union,[note 2] calling it "a vital opportunity to create a more democratic and accountable Europe, with a clearer purpose for the future,"[89] and favours a "three yeses" approach to Europe: "yes to a referendum, yes to major EU reform and yes to staying in a reformed Europe". Natalie Bennett also added that:

The party advocates ending the first past the post voting system for UK parliamentary elections and replacing it with a form of proportional representation.[88]


The Green Party supports same-sex marriage and has considered expelling a member (Christina Summers) as she was not supportive of governmental same-sex marriage legislation due to her religious beliefs.[87]

The group had a specific LGBTIQ manifesto for the 2015 elections, which was called Equality for All.[85] In it, the party has called for all teachers to be trained on LGBTIQ issues (such as "provid[ing] mandatory HIV, sex, and relationships education – age appropriate and LGBTIQ-inclusive – in all schools from primary level onwards"), to reform the system of pensions, of end the "spousal veto" and to "make equal marriage truly equal". Natalie Bennett has also voiced support for polygamy and polyamorous relationships.[86]

Notably this meant that the group had elected a transgender person to the position of chair for the first time.[84]

LGBTIQ Greens National Committee
Chair Aimee Challenor
Secretary Chris Atkins
Treasurer Amber Osner
Social Media Officer Anna Jordan
Internal Communications Lee-Ann Lawrance, Abi Brown, Ronald Stewart

The LGBTIQ Greens' stated aim is to raise awareness on LGBTIQ rights and issues affecting the broader LGBTIQ community, as well as broader Green politics.[83] LGBTIQ Greens is run by an elected national committee which is elected every year at an annual general meeting, held at the Autumn Conference of the Green Party of England and Wales. The Committee, as of the 2015 annual general meeting, is as follows:[84]

LGBTIQ rights

The Green Party has an official "Drugs Group", for drugs policy and research,[80] and the party has also considered decriminalising the recreational use of marijuana, considering the drugs issue a health, rather than criminal issue.[81] Ian Barnett from the Green Party says that: "The Policy of 'War on Drugs' has clearly failed. We need a different approach towards the control and misuse of drugs." However, the party does aim to minimise drug use due to the negative effects on the individual and society at large.[82]

Drug policy

Since at least 1992, the party has emphasised unilateral nuclear disarmament and called for the rejection of the UK's Trident programme of nuclear weapons.[76] To campaign for the latter measure it has teamed up with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Plaid Cymru, and the Scottish National Party.[77] It wants to see the UK's Army turned into a home defence force,[78] and has pledged to take the UK out of NATO unilaterally.[79]


The party also states that it would phase out fossil fuel-based power generation, and would close all coal-fired power stations by 2023. The Green Party would also phase out nuclear power within ten years.

The party publishes a manifesto for each of its election campaigns.[72] In their most recent Election Manifesto, for the 2015 General Election, the Greens outlined many new policies, including a Robin Hood tax on banks, and a new 60% tax on those earning over £150,000.[75]

2015 manifesto

The party also has a much larger and broader "philosophical basis", which covers many of these areas on more detail.[74]

  1. Commitment to social justice and environmentalism, supporting a "radical transformation of society for the benefit of all, and for the planet as a whole". The threats to economic, social and racial wellbeing are considered "part of the same problem", and "solving one of these crises cannot be achieved without solving the others."
  2. Preservation of other species, because the human race "depends on the diversity of the natural world for its existence".
  3. "A sustainable society" to guarantee humanity's long-term future, given that physical resources are finite.
  4. "Basic material security" as a universal, permanent entitlement.
  5. Actions to "take account of the wellbeing of other nations, other species, and future generations", not advancing "our well-being to the detriment of theirs".
  6. "Voluntary co-operation between empowered individuals in a democratic society, free from discrimination whether based on race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, religion, social origin or any other prejudice", as the basis of a "healthy society".
  7. Decisions to be made "at the closest practical level to those affected by them" to "emphasise democratic participation and accountability".
  8. Non-violent solutions to conflict, seeking lasting settlement, taking into account "the interests of minorities and future generations".
  9. End the use of "narrow economic indicators" to measure society's success. Instead "take account of factors affecting the quality of life for all people: personal freedom, social equity, health, happiness and human fulfilment".
  10. Use "a variety of methods, including lifestyle changes, to help effect progress", in addition to electoral politics.

The ten core values set out by the Green Party policy document in February 2015 can be summarised as follows:[13]

Core values

The Party publishes a full set of its policies, as approved by successive party conferences,collectively entitled "Policies for a Sustainable Society" (originally "The Manifesto for a Sustainable Society" before February 2010).[72] This manifesto was summarised by LGBTIQ and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell as "radical socialist", "incorporat[ing] key socialist values" as it "rejects privatisation, free market economics and globalisation, and includes commitments to public ownership, workers' rights, economic democracy, progressive taxation and the redistribution of wealth and power".[73]

Sociologist Chris Rootes stated that the Green party took "the left-libertarian" vote.[71]

"Welfare not Warfare" sign, indicating the Green Party's policy towards social justice and non-violence

Ideology and Policy

In the 2015 general election, Caroline Lucas was re-elected in Brighton Pavilion with an increased majority, and while failing to gain any additional seats, the Greens received their highest-ever vote share (over 1.1 million votes), and increased their national share of the vote from 1% to 3.8%.[67] Overnight, the membership numbers increased to over 63,000.[68] However they lost 9 out of their 20 seats on the Brighton and Hove council, losing minority control.[69] Nationwide, the Greens increased their share of councillors, gaining an additional 10 council seats while failing to gain overall control of any individual council.[70]

Polling subsequently fell back as the 2015 general election approached:[65] a Press Association poll of polls on 3 April, for example, put the Greens fifth with 5.4%.[66] However, membership statistics continued to surge with the party attaining 60,000 in England and Wales that April.

In December 2014, the Green Party announced that it had more than doubled its overall membership from 1 January that year to 30,809.[57] This reflected the increase seen in opinion polls in 2014, with Green Party voting intentions trebling from 2-3% at the start of the year, to 7-8% at the end of the year, on many occasions, coming in fourth place with YouGov's national polls, ahead of the Liberal Democrats, and gaining over 25% of the vote with 18-24 year olds.[58][59] This rapid increase in support for the party is referred to by media as the "Green Surge".[60][61][62] The hashtag "#GreenSurge" has also been popular on social media (such as Twitter) from Green Party members and supporters,[63] and as of 15 January 2015, the combined Green Party membership in the UK stood at 44,713; greater than the number of members of UKIP (at 41,943), and the Liberal Democrats (at 44,576).[64]

The party announced in October 2014 that Green candidates would be standing for parliament in at least 75% of constituencies in the 2015 General Election. In the 2010 General Election, they contested roughly 50% of seats.[54] Following its rapid increase in membership and support, the Green Party also announced it was targeting twelve key seats for the 2015 General Election. These seats were its one current seat, Brighton Pavilion, held by Caroline Lucas since 2010; Norwich South, a Liberal Democrat seat where June 2014 polling put the Greens in second place behind Labour;[55] Bristol West, another Liberal Democrat seat, where they are targeting the student vote; St. Ives, where they received an average of 18% of the vote in county elections; Sheffield Central; Liverpool Riverside; Oxford East; Solihull; Reading East; and three more seats with high student populations - York Central, Cambridge, and Holborn and St. Pancras, where leader Natalie Bennett is standing as the candidate.[56]

In September 2014, the Green Party held its biennial leadership elections. Incumbent leader Natalie Bennett ran uncontested, and retained her status as party leader. The election also saw a change in the elective format for position of deputy leader. The party opted to elect two, gender-balanced deputy leaders, instead of just one. Amelia Womack and Shahrar Ali won the two positions, succeeding former deputy leader Will Duckworth.[53]

At the 2014 European elections the Green Party finished fourth, above the Liberal Democrats, winning over 1.2 million votes.[51] The party increased its European Parliament representation, gaining one seat in the South West England region.[52]

Amelia Womack and Shahrar Ali were voted deputy leaders in 2014

At the local government elections the following year, the Greens gained 18 seats overall.[46] In London, the party won four seats, a gain of two, holding seats in Camden[47] and Lewisham,[48] and gaining seats in Islington[49] and Lambeth.[50]

The 2013 local government elections saw overall gains of 5 seats. The Party returned representation for the first time on the councils of Cornwall, Devon, and Essex.

Natalie Bennett (2012–)

In May 2012, Lucas announced that she would not seek re-election to the post of party leader.[42] In September, Natalie Bennett was elected party leader and Will Duckworth deputy leader in the leadership election took place.[43][44][45]

In the 2011 local government elections in England and Wales, the Green Party in Brighton and Hove took minority control of the City Council by winning 23 seats, 5 short of an overall majority. At the 2012 local government elections the Green Party gained 5 seats, and retained both AMs at the 2012 London Assembly election. At the London Mayoral Election the party's candidate Jenny Jones finished third, and lost her deposit.

In the 2010 General Election, the party returned its first Member of Parliament (MP). Caroline Lucas was returned as MP for the seat of Brighton Pavilion.[40] Following the election, Keith Taylor succeeded her as MEP for South East England. They also saved their deposit in Hove, and Brighton Kemptown.[41]

In November 2007, the party held an internal referendum to decide on whether it should replace its use of two "principle speakers", one male and the other female, with the more conventional roles of "leader" and "deputy leader"; the motion passed with 73% of the vote.[37] In September 2008, the party then elected its first leader, Caroline Lucas,[37] with Adrian Ramsay elected deputy leader.[38] In the party's first election with Lucas as leader, it retained both its MEPs in the 2009 European elections.[39]

Caroline Lucas speaking as the first Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales at its autumn conference in 2008.

Caroline Lucas (2008–12)

As the Labour Party shifted to the political center under the leadership of Tony Blair and his New Labour project, the Greens sought to gain the support of the party's dissafected leftists.[32] During the 1999 European Parliament elections, the first to be held in the UK using proportional representation, the Greens gained their first Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), Caroline Lucas (South East England) and Jean Lambert (London).[33] At the inaugural London Assembly Elections in 2000, the party gained 11% of the vote and returned three Assembly Members (AM),[34] and although this dropped to two following the 2004 London Assembly Elections, the Green AMs proved vital in passing the annual budget of Mayor Ken Livingstone.[32] At the General Election of 2001 they polled 0.63% of the vote and held their deposit in ten seats. At the 2004 European Parliamentary elections the party returned 2 MEPS the same as in 1999; overall, the Party polled 1,033,093 votes.[35] In the 2005 general election the party gained over 1% of the vote for the first time, and polled over 10% in the constituencies of Brighton Pavilion and Lewisham Deptford.[36] This growth has been attributed to the increasing public visibility of the party as well as a general growth in support for smaller parties in the UK.[36]

The Greens sought to build alliances with other parties in the hope of gaining representation at the parliamentary level.[31] In Wales, the Greens endorsed Plaid Cymru candidate Cynog Dafis in the 1992 general election, having worked with him on a number of environmental initiatives.[31] For the 1997 general election, the Cerediggion branch of the Greens endorsed Dafis as a joint Plaid Cymru/Green candidate, but this generated controversy with the party, with critics believing it improper to built an alliance with a party that did not share all of the Greens' views. In April 1995 the Green National Executive ruled that the party should withdraw from this alliance due to ideological differences.[31]

In 1993, the party adopted its "Basis for Renewal" program in an attempt to bring together conflicting factions and thus save the party from bankruptcy and potential demise.[28] The party sought to escape their reputation as an environmentalist single-issue party by placing greater emphasis on social policies.[29] Recognising their poor performance in the 1992 national elections, the party decided to focus on gaining support in local elections, targeting wards where there was a pre-existing support base of Green activists.[28] In 1993 the party gained a seat on Oxford County Council,[30] with other gains following in the 1995 and 1996 local elections.[28]

[27] but was widely deemed to have performed poorly.1992 general election The party fielded more candidates than it had ever done before in the [26] Between the end of 1990 and mid-1992, the party lost over half its members, with those polled indicating that frustration over a lack of clear and effective party leadership was a major reason in their decision.[25] Although Green 2000 proposals were defeated at the party's 1990 conference, they were overwhelmingly carried at their 1991 conference, resulting in an internal restructuring of the party.[24] Many party members opposed the reforms, believing that they would undermine the internal party democracy, and amid the arguments various key members resigned or were dismissed from the Greens.[23] Its proposed reforms included a more centralised structure, the replacement of the existing party council with a smaller party executive, and the establishment of delegate voting at party conferences.[22]

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