Jonathan Bartley

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Jonathan Bartley
Jonathan Bartley and Caroline Lucas.jpg
Bartley pictured with Caroline Lucas in July 2016
Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales
Assumed office
2 September 2016
Serving with Caroline Lucas
Deputy Amelia Womack
Preceded by Natalie Bennett
Personal details
Born (1971-10-16) 16 October 1971 (age 45)
London, United Kingdom
Political party Conservative (circa 1995)
Green Party of England and Wales (2011 - present)
Education Dulwich College
Alma mater London School of Economics
Occupation Political activist

Jonathan Bartley (born 16 October 1971, London) is an English politician, and since 2 September 2016, Co-Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, a position he shares with Caroline Lucas. He was the Green Party's national Work and Pensions spokesperson[1] and the party's Parliamentary candidate for Streatham in the 2015 general election.[2]

Bartley is the founder and was (until 2016[3]) co-director of Ekklesia,[4] an independent think tank looking at the role of religion in public life and appears regularly on UK radio and television programmes. He is a member of the blues rock band The Mustangs and lives with his family in Streatham, South London.[5]

Early life and family[edit]

Bartley was born in London on 16 October 1971. His father was Dr Christopher Bartley, an NHS consultant physician, and Normandy veteran.[6] Bartley's uncle was Anthony Bartley, a World War II spitfire pilot and squadron leader who married the actress Deborah Kerr.[7] Bartley is a direct descendent of the prison reformer Elizabeth Fry.[8] Bartley accidentally killed someone in a car accident when he was 17.[9]


From 1980—1989,[10] Bartley was educated at Dulwich College,[11] a boarding independent school for boys, in Dulwich in south London, followed by the London School of Economics, from which he graduated in 1994.

Life and career[edit]

After graduating from the London School of Economics in 1994, Bartley worked at the UK Parliament as a researcher and parliamentary assistant for a number of years, and was part of John Major's campaign team in the 1995 Conservative Party leadership election against John Redwood.[12]

He co-founded Ekklesia, a think-tank which looks at "the changing role of beliefs, values and faith/non-faith in public life" in 2002.[13] In 2008 he co-founded the Accord Coalition,[14] which works to end religious discrimination and segregation in the English and Welsh school systems.

He is a regular contributor to BBC One's The Big Questions. He has formerly contributed to BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day and ITV1's The Moral of the Story, and has been a columnist for The Church Times. He has been a guest on BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze and has written for The Guardian newspaper. He has also represented the Green Party of England and Wales in the media, including the BBC's welfare debate at the 2015 general election, clashing with the former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.[15]

David Cameron incident[edit]

On 27 April 2010, while Bartley was waiting to attend a hospital appointment at the Evelina Children's Hospital with his son Samuel, a Conservative party official asked if he would like to meet the-then Conservative Party leader David Cameron.[16][17] Bartley agreed and party officials then brought the Conservative leader over to meet them, on his way to a car after a General Election campaign event in South London.

Bartley asserted that Conservative manifesto plans would increase the segregation of disabled children as it pledged to "end the bias towards the inclusion of children with special needs in mainstream schools.".[17] Referring to his own two-year attempt to gain a place for his son in a mainstream school,[18] Bartley also asked why the Conservative manifesto did not say that the Conservatives wanted to encourage children into mainstream schools. David Cameron said "It absolutely does say that sir, I promise you".[19] After the event Channel 4 FactCheck said that David Cameron had been wrong.[19]

The Daily Telegraph pointed out that Bartley had been on The Moral Maze and was a regular commentator in the media.[20] Bartley said he was a "floating voter", that he felt let down by the main parties and criticised the Labour Government over the issues of inclusion.[21]

Afterwards, Bartley became the chair of the Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education (CSIE),.[22]

AV Referendum[edit]

As part of the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition agreement following the 2010 General Election, the two parties agreed to an AV referendum on changing the method of electing MPs in subsequent general elections. A long time supporter of electoral reform, Bartley was appointed a vice-chair of the official cross-party Yes to Fairer Votes campaign, acting principally as a media spokesperson throughout the referendum.[23]

After the campaign, he joined the council of the Electoral Reform Society, serving as vice-chair.[24]

Green Party activity[edit]

In 2012, Bartley was selected as the Green Party candidate for the Lambeth and Southwark constituency for the London Assembly elections, winning over 18,000 votes. Bartley also acted as the party's press officer for the London campaign.

Bartley was the Green Party candidate for the London constituency of Streatham in the 2015 general election, receiving 4,421 votes (8.9%), up from the 1.8% the party received in 2010.

Bartley sought to be the party's candidate in the 2016 London mayoral election,[25] but was defeated by Siân Berry. He was instead named in fourth place on the party's list of candidates for the concurrent London Assembly elections and played an active role in the campaign. Bartley was the Green's Work and Pensions spokesperson for the Green Party of England and Wales until 2016.

On 31 May 2016, it was announced that Bartley would run for the position of the Leader of the Green Party in a job share arrangement with the former leader Caroline Lucas in the forthcoming 2016 Green Party Leadership election.[26] He and Lucas subsequently became Co-Leaders on 2 September 2016.


Bartley is the drummer for British blues rock band The Mustangs. The band is signed to the Trapeze music label and has released nine albums, including a live album and a 'Best Of'. In 2010 he was nominated for Blues drummer of the year at the British Blues Awards.[citation needed]


Bartley is married to Lucy Bartley and has three children.


  • The Subversive Manifesto: lifting the lid on God's political agenda (Bible Reading Fellowship, 2004).
  • Your Child and the Internet (Hodder, 2004).
  • (Co-editor) Consuming Passion: Why The Killing of Jesus Really Matters (DLT, 2005)
  • Faith and Politics After Christendom: the church as a movement for anarchy (Paternoster, 2006).


  1. ^ Green Party Spokespeople, Green Party of England and Wales
  2. ^ Streatham Parliamentary Candidates, Lambeth Council
  3. ^ "Ekklesia - Staff". 1 September 2010. 
  4. ^ "Jonathan Bartley". London: Guardian. 20 October 2008. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Jonathan Bartley". New Statesman. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "Munks Roll Details for Christopher William Bartley". Retrieved 2016-05-19. 
  7. ^ iconic (2010-11-12), Film star Deborah Kerr marries Squadron Leader Anthony Bartley, retrieved 2016-05-19 
  8. ^ Bartley, Jonathan (2015-07-07). "Religion is a mixed bag – the crucial task is to sort the good from the bad". Bright Green. Retrieved 2016-05-19. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Jonathan Bartley OA 1980-89". Dulwich College, London. Retrieved 21 September 2016. 
  11. ^ "Think tank to promote theological ideas". The Daily Telegraph. 10 November 2006. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  12. ^ David Cameron heckled by parent over special education, The Guardian
  13. ^ About Ekklesia, Ekklesia (think tank)
  14. ^ ""Accord congratulates Jonathan Bartley", "Accord Coalition, 16 September 2016.
  15. ^ "Welfare, 2015 Election Debates, Daily Politics - BBC Two". BBC. Retrieved 2016-05-19. 
  16. ^ Jonathan Bartley (28 April 2010). "Why I 'ambushed' David Cameron over special-needs schooling". London: Guardian. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  17. ^ a b "David Cameron tackled over special needs in schools". BBC News. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  18. ^ Bartley, Jonathan (28 April 2010). "General Election 2010: my fight to get my disabled son into a mainstream school". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  19. ^ a b Lewis Hannam. "The FactCheck Blog – Do Tories encourage special needs children in mainstream schools?". Archived from the original on 1 May 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  20. ^ Preston, Richard (28 April 2010). "Doh! No wonder Cameron's heckler wouldn't let go – he's been on the Moral Maze – Telegraph Blogs". London: Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  21. ^ "Father reflects on Cameron encounter". BBC News. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  22. ^ "Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education". Retrieved 2016-05-19. 
  23. ^ Wintour, Patrick (2010-11-26). "Labour big beasts say no to voting reform". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-05-19. 
  24. ^ Electoral Reform Society (November 2012). "Electoral Reform Society Annual Report 2011-2012" (PDF). Electoral Reform Society Annual Report 2011-2012. 
  25. ^ Jonathan Bartley of Streatham Green Party Puts Name Forward to be London Mayoral Candidate, Brixton Buzz
  26. ^ Stewart, Heather (31 May 2016). "Caroline Lucas to stand for Green party leadership as job share". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Natalie Bennett
Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales
With: Caroline Lucas