Green Party says it’s ‘on the up’ as it launches General Election campaign

Co-leader Adrian Ramsay said the party is offering ‘real hope and real change’ to voters.

The Green Party has launched its General Election campaign
The Green Party has launched its General Election campaign (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The Green Party is “on the up” party leaders said, as they set out their proposals to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, housing, and the NHS, in addition to improving the UK’s toxic rivers and seas.

Launching the party’s General Election campaign from Bristol, co-leader Adrian Ramsay said the party is offering “real hope and real change” to voters.

Following success at the local elections, where the number of Green councillors was boosted to 812, the party said it hopes to elect four Members of Parliament on July 4, targeting Brighton Pavilion, Bristol Central, Waveney Valley, and North Herefordshire.

Mr Ramsey said: “Over the past five years, we’ve increased the number of green councillors five fold, from here in Bristol to councils across Waveney Valley and from Newcastle to Hastings, Greens are on the up.”

Green Party co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay
Green Party co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Brighton Pavilion candidate Sian Berry said it’s important for democracy that the Greens succeed at the election.

The party’s former leader told PA: “The polls are very clear, 100% of the polls so far have said Labour will have a big majority, and that’s where our role will be absolutely vital.

“A big majority for Labour, who are seeking all the power, is a little worrying for me, for democracy.

“There are so many people around the country voting Green, we need to be represented, and (Labour) need to hear from us in order to be bolder and better.”

Opinion polls published on May 22 show the Greens polling at 6%.

Carla Denyer, co-leader and parliamentary candidate for Bristol Central, said Labour is “failing to offer the real change needed”.

Green Party parliamentary candidate Sian Berry
Green Party parliamentary candidate Sian Berry (Jonathan Brady/PA)

She continued: “We have the practical solutions to the cost of living crisis, building new affordable homes protecting our NHS from creeping privatisation and cleaning up our toxic rivers and seas?

“That’s why it’s so important that when Labour form the next government, they are pushed beyond the timid change they are offering.

“Pushed to be more ambitious, braver, not to skirt around the edges of the massive crises facing our country, but to actually make real change that benefits people’s lives every day, that’s what Green MPs can do.”

“People are disappointed by the way Starmer has backtracked on his promises on green investments, his weak offer on housing, and now we have Wes Streeting telling us that more privatisation of the NHS is a good thing.”

Speaking to PA, Mr Ramsey said the party wants to be “tough on the water companies”, adding: “We want to bring water companies into public ownership so that it’s working for people not for profit.”

Ms Denyer said: “We need to tackle the disgusting outflows of sewage into our rivers and seas.

Green Party parliamentary candidates (left to right) Ellie Chowns, Carla Denyer, Adrian Ramsay and Sian Berry
Green Party parliamentary candidates (left to right) Ellie Chowns, Carla Denyer, Adrian Ramsay and Sian Berry (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“And the Green Party is the only party that is challenging the failed experiment in privatisation of water companies.”

She told PA the Greens will be “prioritising tackling the housing crisis”, adding: “Pushing to give local councils the power to introduce rent controls in areas like Bristol, where the private housing market is out of control.

“And make sure the right kind of homes are built in the right places, at the right price.”

Addressing, concerns of antisemitism in the party, deputy leader of the Green Party Zack Polanski said: “As a Jewish person, naturally I take antisemitism really seriously, and antisemitism and any forms of racism can never – and will never – be tolerated.

“We also need to be careful, in the past I believe criticism of the Israeli government has been conflated with antisemitism, and as a Jewish person that makes me feel less safe.”

He added: “I’m proud to be a Jewish person, I’m proud of the diverse Jewish communities, and I don’t think anyone should ever speak about the Jewish community as if it has one voice, there are lots of different opinions within the community.”

The Green Party’s Caroline Lucas
The Green Party’s Caroline Lucas (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Ms Denyer said she takes “any accusation of antisemitism extremely seriously”.

She said that sometimes a “more proportionate response” is needed, adding: “All of us would want to be given the opportunity if we made a genuine mistake, were (then) horrified by the impact of it, to learn and grow as a person.”

Caroline Lucas, who was the Green Party’s only MP and was first elected in 2010, is not standing for re-election.

Ms Lucas told PA she was unsure of what her next steps would be following the “huge change”.

She added: “My commitment to the party remains as strong as ever and I want to find a way to work on nature and climate in particular.”