Green Party of England and Wales
|Green Party of England and Wales|
|Deputy leader||Will Duckworth|
|Headquarters||56-64 Development House, London, EC2A 4LT|
|Youth wing||Young Greens of England and Wales|
|Political position||Left wing|
|International affiliation||Global Greens|
|European Parliament group||The Greens–European Free Alliance|
|House of Commons English & Welsh Seats|
|House of Lords|
|European Parliament English & Welsh Seats|
|Local government (England & Wales)||citation needed][|
|Police & Crime Commissioners|
|Part of a series on|
The Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW; Welsh: Plaid Werdd Cymru a Lloegr) is a political party in England and Wales. It is the largest Green party in the United Kingdom, containing within it various regional divisions including the semi-autonomous Wales Green Party. The party currently has one Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, Caroline Lucas, who represents the constituency of Brighton Pavilion after winning her seat in the 2010 general election and was the party's first leader, serving from 2008 until 2012, when she was succeeded by Natalie Bennett. They also have two MEPs in the European Parliament and two members of the London Assembly, as well as 141 councillors in various local councils across England and Wales.
The Green Party of England and Wales was created in 1990 when the former UK Green Party, which itself had grown out of the 1970s’ PEOPLE party, devolved into separate parties for Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England and Wales. It currently has friendly relations with its Scottish and Northern Irish counterparts, and is affiliated with the Global Greens and the European Green Party. While primarily known as an environmentalist party, it has a history of support for communitarian economic policies, including well-funded, locally controlled public services within the confines of a steady-state economy. The party is strongly supportive of proportional representation and follows a line of euroscepticism based on its suspicion of the domination of European policy-making by corporate interests. It takes a liberal approach to social policies such as animal rights, LGBT rights and drug policy reform.
The Green Party of England and Wales has its roots in the PEOPLE party started in 1972/3 by a group of four professional friends in Coventry (Michael Benfield, Freda Sanders, Tony & Lesley Whittaker). It changed its name to the Ecology Party in 1975, and to the Green Party ten years later. In 1990, the part of the "Green Party" that was in England and Wales became The Green Party of England and Wales, although it is registered with the Electoral Commission simply as Green Party.
Early gains 
In the 1999 European elections, two Greens were elected Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), Dr Caroline Lucas (South East England) and Jean Lambert (London). They retained their seats in the 2004 European elections (despite a reduction in number of seats available) and the 2009 European elections. In 2010, Keith Taylor succeeded Caroline Lucas as MEP for South East England, following her election to the House of Commons. Overall, the Party gained 1,033,093 votes in the 2004 European election.
However, the Greens have not yet managed to break through in other European electoral regions in the UK or the Welsh Assembly. Three Greens were elected to the first London Assembly. It currently has two Green Party members out of 25, Darren Johnson and Jenny Jones.
The Green Party won 281,780 votes in the 2005 General Election, but did not win any seats. It went on to win 285,616 votes in England and Wales in the 2010 General Election, with Party leader Caroline Lucas winning the Brighton Pavilion seat.
The party had 136 local councillors following the 2011 local elections. The Greens are the biggest party and administration on Brighton & Hove City Council. They also have significant representation on Lancaster City Council, Norwich, Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Kirklees Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and Stroud District Council. The Green Party is the official opposition on Norwich City Council.
In May 2012, Caroline Lucas announced that she would not seek re-election, hoping that instead other talented individuals could rise to the top of the party. A leadership election took place in August and September 2012. The Leader and Deputy Leader were elected using a Single Transferable Vote system.
Electoral performance 
2009 European Parliament election 
In the June 2009 European Parliament election the party secured 1,223,303 votes or 8.7% of the popular vote compared to its 2004 vote share of 6.1%. Green MEPs Caroline Lucas in the South East and Jean Lambert in London were re-elected. The Greens came first in Norwich with 25%, Oxford with 26% and Brighton and Hove with 31%, the latter a clear 6,000 votes ahead of the Conservatives in second place, but despite making steady progress all over the country with its share of the vote substantially increasing compared to the 2004 European Parliament election, it failed to gain any extra MEPs. This is thought to have been partly because of the re-apportionment of seats from 78 to 72.
The regional breakdown of the vote was as follows:
|East Midlands||Sue Blount, Richard Mallender, Ashley Baxter, Matthew Follett, Barney Smith||83,939||6.8||+1.4|
|East of England||Rupert Read, Peter Lynn, James Abbott, Marc Scheimann, Angela Thomson, Andrew Stringer, Amy Drayson||141,016||8.8||+3.2|
|London||Jean Lambert MEP, Ute Michel, Shahrar Ali, Joseph Healy, Miranda Dunn, Shasha Khan, George Graham, Priya Shah||190,589||10.9||+2.5|
|North East England||Shirley Ford, Iris Ryder, Nic Best||34,081||5.8||+1.0|
|North West England||Peter Cranie, Maria Whitelegg, Ruth Bergan, Samir Chatterjee, Jill Perry, Justine Hall, Margaret Westbrook, Geoff Smith||127,133||7.7||+2.1|
|South East England||Caroline Lucas MEP, Keith Taylor, Derek Wall, Miriam Kennet, Jason Kitcat, Hazel Dawe, Jonathan Essex, Matthew Ledbury, Steve Dawe, Beverley Golden||271,506||11.6||+3.8|
|South West England||Ricky Knight, Roger Creagh-Osborne, Molly Scott Cato, Richard Lawson, Chloë Somers, David Taylor||144,179||9.3||+2.1|
|West Midlands||Felicity Norman, Peter Tinsley, Chris Williams, Ian Davison, Vicky Dunn, Dave Wall||88,244||6.2||+1.1|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||Martin Hemingway, Shan Oakes, Leslie Rowe, Kevin Warnes, Lesley Hedges, Steve Barnard||104,456||8.5||+2.8|
|Wales||Jake Griffiths, Kay Roney, Ann Were, John Matthews||38,160||5.6||+2.0|
2010 UK general election 
The Green Party fielded more than 300 candidates for the 2010 general election. Party leader Caroline Lucas became the first Green candidate to gain a seat in Westminster, after being elected MP for Brighton Pavilion by a margin of 1,252 votes.
2011 local elections 
||The neutrality of this section is disputed. (January 2012)|
In May 2011, the Green party secured another victory in Brighton and Hove by taking minority control of the City Council. They advanced 10 seats to 23. The opposition Conservatives and Labour Party received 17 seats and 13 seats respectively with the Liberal Democrats losing both of their seats to the Green party. The percentage of votes for the main parties was: Green 33%, Labour 32%, Conservatives 29% and Liberal Democrats 5%.
In light of a large cut in government funding, the Green administration recently unveiled budget proposals which included a controversial 3.5% rise in Council Tax. This, along with proposed cuts to local services, were given by opposition parties as the reason that the Greens came third  in a recent council by-election, which the opposition Tories won. The Green party retorted that the position of the parties in the council ward was unchanged since May, and argues that the tax rise is needed to save local services.
The Green Party seeks to address the "poverty trap" by introducing a "Citizen's Income" (also known as a Citizen's dividend and similar to the Basic income and Living wage), an unconditional, non-means-tested, weekly payment made to every citizen whether they are working or not. This would replace benefits such as Job Seeker's Allowance, as well as replacing personal tax-free allowances. The party hopes that this would ensure that people can take a job and come off benefits without falling into the poverty trap, and make working part-time or becoming self-employed easier by eliminating the poverty trap. Clive Lord, a member of the Green Party of England and Wales, published A Citizen's Income, a book that sets out how to fund the Citizen's Income with an increase to the top bracket of Income Tax. Lord suggests that the Citizen's Income is a means by which to achieve prosperity within a zero-growth economy.
Gay rights 
In 2004 as part of the Stop Murder Music campaign the Green Party, along with Outrage! successfully lobbied the Home Secretary to stop the Jamaican reggae and dancehall artist and Rastafarian Sizzla from being able to perform in the UK even though this lobbying has been criticised as being racist and encouraging censorship.
The Green Party supports allowing same-sex couples to marry. On 22 May 2009 they called for an end to the ban on civil marriages between same-sex couples in Britain and in other EU member states. Caroline Lucas, then leader, said the party wants marriage equality for same-sex couples and that married gay couples who travel throughout Europe should be able to have their relationship recognised on the same basis as married heterosexual couples. Peter Tatchell, who was the party's candidate for Oxford East at the time, said there is a "confusing patchwork" of different partnership laws throughout Europe and that "for a majority of lesbian and gay couples their legal rights stop at their own borders". He said, the "best and most universally recognised system of partnership" is civil marriage and, "anything less is second class and discrimination".
The Green Party meets to vote on issues of organisation and policy at bi-annual Party Conferences (the Spring Conference and Autumn Conference). It is bound by a Constitution, which can be amended only by a two-thirds majority vote at one of these Conferences; policy motions need only a simple majority (more than 50%).
Leadership and Principal Speakers 
The Green Party has in the past consciously chosen not to have a single leader for ideological reasons; its organisation provided for two Principal Speakers, a male and female Principal Speaker, who sit but do not vote on the party's Executive (GPEx). However, 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), who would be elected every two years (instead of annually) and able to vote on GPEx, passed by 73%.
The final Principal Speakers were Dr Caroline Lucas MP (who succeeded Siân Berry in October 2007), and Dr Derek Wall, who succeeded Keith Taylor, a councillor in Brighton & Hove, in November 2006 (Taylor had been elected in 2004 after the death of Dr. Mike Woodin). Caroline Lucas went on to become the first leader and gained the party its first seat.
As of 3 September 2012, the national Green Party Executive (GPEx) consists of the following positions:
|Green Party of England and Wales Executive (GPEx)|
|Deputy Leader||Will Duckworth|
|Elections Co-ordinator||Geoff Smith|
|Equality and Diversity Co-ordinator||Shan Oakes|
|External Communications Co-ordinator||Penny Kemp & Joe Williams|
|Finance Co-ordinator||Michael Coffey|
|Internal Communications Co-ordinator||Emma Pruen|
|International Co-ordinator||Derek Wall|
|Local Party Support Co-ordinator||Matthew Townsend|
|Management Co-ordinator||Mark Cridge|
|Policy Co-ordinator||Stuart Jeffrey|
|Publications Co-ordinator||Edward Milford|
|Campaigns Co-ordinator||Howard Thorp|
|Young Greens Co-ordinator||Ash Haynes & Sam Coates|
The party's Leader and Deputy Leader are elected every two years by a postal ballot of all party members. All other 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).
The Chair is currently Jo Steranka. The 2010/11 Chair was Jayne Forbes, a former chair of the World Development Movement and Tourism Concern. The 2008/09 Chair was James Humphreys, former head of Corporate Communications at 10 Downing Street. A previous Chair, Hugo Charlton (2003 to 2005), resigned following criticism of his nomination to the House of Lords before the Party had carried out its internal selection process. Subsequently Jenny Jones was elected to be the party's nominee in the event of the party again being asked, but this was too late for the current round. For the purposes of its registration with the Electoral Commission, the party used to designate the Chair of the Executive as the Leader of the party, until the first formal leader was elected in 2008.
Members of GPEx are individually responsible for every action taken within their area of responsibility (except decisions taken collectively within GPEx itself). GPEx meets at least once every six weeks, and whenever a meeting is necessary. The Executive has the power to create whatever committees and posts "it considers necessary for the efficient conduct of its business". It appoints a Panel of Speakers as spokespeople for policy areas, a Treasurer and the National Election Agent. GPEx is responsible for implementing the decisions made at Conferences, and controlling expenditure and fundraising.
At the party's Autumn Conference of 2008, members elected the first Equality and Diversity Co-ordinator.
At the party's Spring Conference of 2012, members voted to incorporate a Young Greens position on GPEx, to be filled by the male and female Co-Chairs of the Young Greens as a job share. The Co-Chairs of the Young Green Party of England and Wales are elected annually at their National Convention.
Panel of Speakers 
- Darren Johnson - trade and industry
- Alan Francis - Transport
- Ben Duncan - Home Affairs
- Peter Tatchell - Human Rights
- Andrew Cooper - Energy
- Rachel Fryer - Education
- Jean Lambert - Employment, Social Affairs and Pensions
- Shane Collins - Drugs
- ? - Peace and Defence
Regional Council 
The Green Party Regional Council (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.
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). Although The Cornish Green Party (Bagas Gwer Kernewek) is an umbrella of the party itself which promotes for enhanced autonomy for the Cornish people within the UK.
The Green Party of England and Wales holds a Spring and Autumn Conference every year. Conferences are governed by the Constitution and Standing Orders, and feature votes on policy and organisational matters. The Autumn Conference is the party's "supreme forum", with elections to 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. The conference itself is organised by Conferences Committee, but the Standing Order Committee (SOC) is responsible for interpreting the Constitution and arranging the order of business.
The Green Party Conference features fringes, talks and plenary sessions. The agenda for plenary sessions is usually:
- Section A – Reports from various bodies within the party, including SOC, GPEx, GPRC and others
- Section B – Policy Voting Papers (a motion, either submitted by members or chosen by the Policy Committee, which submits a section of the Policies for a Sustainable Society for review and amendments, which are then voted on)
- Section C – Policy Motions (motions from members on different sections of the MfSS, but also including those which express a policy position without altering the MfSS, and Enabling Motions, which start the process of building policy on a specified area)
- Section D – Organisational Motions (motions from members that amend the Constitution)
Policymaking within the GPEW is a long process involving consultation with various bodies and individuals. The party has released leaflets and books on how to properly amend policy.
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, to the conduct of GPEx and so on. The Constitution stresses "openness, accountability and confidentiality" in its decision-making guidelines. It can be amended only by a two-thirds majority vote at a Conference or by a two-thirds majority in a ballot of the membership.
Status of the Wales Green Party 
Unlike any other regional party within the Green Party, the Wales Green Party (WGP) (Plaid Werdd Cymru in Welsh) is a "semi-autonomous regional party" within the GPEW. It has greater control over its finances, and produces its own manifesto. Wales Green Party members are automatically members of the Green Party of England and Wales.
Also differently from the full party, the Wales Green Party (and the North West region of England) elects a Principal Speaker who may refer to themselves as the 'Leader' of the Wales Green Party, although, like the Green Party of England and Wales's former Principal Speakers, they have no powers of leadership. The current leader of the Wales Green Party is Pippa Bartolotti.
Young Greens 
The youth wing of the Green Party, the Young Greens (of England and Wales), have developed independently from around 2002. 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.
Membership and finances 
|Year||Membership (as of 31 December)|
Groups within the Party 
Several groups are active within the party. These include groups designed to address certain areas of policy or representation, including the Green Party Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Intersex & Queer Group of England and Wales (LGBT), the Green Party Trades Union Group, the Drugs Group (on drugs policy and research), The Green Economics Policy Working Group, the Monetary Reform Policy Working Group, and others. The 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. Green Left represent some of the anti-capitalists and eco-socialists in the party who want to engage with the broader Left in the UK and attract Left-wing activists to the Green Party, although it is a group of party members, rather than a group within the party.
See also 
- Green party
- Green politics
- List of environmental organizations
- Policies for a Sustainable Society
- Politics of the United Kingdom
- Principal Speaker
Related organisations 
- "New Leader and Deputy Leader announcement". Green Party. 3 September 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
- Jowit, Juliette (5 August 2004). "Green party elects Natalie Bennett as leader". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- "Natalie Bennett elected new Green Party leader in England and Wales. She beat three other candidates to the position in a poll of Green Party members.". BBC. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- "Green Party leader Caroline Lucas steps aside to aid fight against Lib Dems". Independent. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- Heywood, Andrew (1992). Political Ideologies: An Introduction. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 274–5. ISBN 9780230521797.
- Keith Edkins (7 August 2011). "Local Council Political Compositions". Retrieved 25 August 2011.
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- "GPEx Candidates". Green Party. Tracy Dighton-Brown. Archived from the original on 27 July 2010.
- McCarthy, Michael (14 May 2012). "Green Party leader Caroline Lucas steps aside to aid fight against Lib Dems". The Independent.
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- Citizens' Income and Green Economics, ed. by Clive Lord, Miriam Kennet and Judith Felton (Tidmarsh: The Green Economics Institute, 2012). ISBN: 978-1-907543-07-4, revised from Clive Lord, A Citizen's Income, 2003.
- Reggae star barred from Britain
- Brighton councillor welcomes ban on 'murder music' singer
- Singer banned after gay-Green protest
- Can music incite murder?
- "Green Party calls for EU-wide gay marriage". Pink News. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
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- The Green Party of England and Wales
- Wales Green Party
- Green Parties in the UK at the Open Directory Project