4 September 2012
I am thrilled to have been elected as the new Deputy Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales. I am very much looking forward to working with new Leader, Natalie Bennett, who has a clear, strong and exciting vision for our Party.
I will do my very best to run with the baton passed on to me by Adrian Ramsey, who has done an excellent job as our Deputy for the last four years. I am sure I speak for everyone in the Party when I say that Caroline Lucas cannot be thanked enough for the incredible hard work she put in as our first ever Leader.
The next two years will be crucial for us. With important local elections due in 2013 and a great opportunity to increase our number of MEPs the year after I am looking forward to lending my support and enthusing members and voters alike, wherever possible.
As this Government's disastrous economic policies continue to hit the least well-off the hardest we will show that we have not only viable, but attractive social and economic alternatives to the ConDem's cuts and Labour's slightly watered-down version. I intent to make the most of being in the position of being able to communicate this to an ever widening audience.
2012 has seen the wettest summer in England for 100 years, the USA's worst drought for half a century, as well as the Arctic sea ice shrinking to an historic low. I will enjoy spreading the word about how the Green Party is the only one that understands the urgent measures needed to tackle climate change, while making the world fairer at the same time.
It is sometimes said that our policies are only attractive to the middle classes in leafy suburbs. Nothing could be further from the truth. Earlier this year I became the Black Country's first Green Party Councillor in a working class Labour stronghold. To me, this clearly showed that people in all walks of life agree with our way of thinking and that can achieve greater electoral success.
Here in the West Midlands we have gone from having three councillors to thirteen in just two years. I will take particular pleasure in working with local and regional groups to replicate that success, build the membership and strengthen the Party at all levels.
These are exceptional times. There are unique challenges for people and for our Party. We will only meet them by working together. I am confident that we can succeed.
Deputy Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales.