The six candidates competing to be the Green Party’s London Mayoral candidate came head-to-head yesterday in their first major hustings event.
Councillor’s Sian Berry and Caroline Russell, Party Spokespeople Benali Hamdache, Tom Chance and Jonathan Bartley, and activist and mentor Rashid Nix were quizzed by an audience of over 200 at London’s Birkbeck University.
Debating their campaign priorities and vision for the future of London, the discussion ranged from solving London’s housing crisis, tackling wage inequality, and action on climate change.
Jonathan Bartley said:
"This is a make or break moment for the Green Party in London. It must seize the moment and demonstrate it has come of age. We must reach out beyond our usual core issues and strongholds, and show that we have an offer for every Londoner in every borough.”
Sian Berry said:
“If selected I'll work with campaigns and communities across London and help bring their energy into our campaign. Jenny and Darren’s nearly sixteen years in City Hall have turned the Greens into an established and respected voice, and we can help make this Mayoral election about the people, not just a person.”
Tom Chance said:
“I will work with campaigners and community groups for a London with genuinely affordable housing, more equal pay and streets for people instead of cars. Greens can give people hope of radical changes, with credible policies. I have the experience and expertise to win London to our cause.”
Benali Hamdache said:
“Every day in this city brilliant ideas are formed, great projects realised and creativity flows. We must preserve this dynamism. Inaction over soaring housing, rising costs of transport and toxic air pollution can only threaten our city. Only a Green mayor can deliver the change needed to keep London great.”
Rashid Nix said:
“The Greens represent an idea whose time has come. After 16 years of red and blue politics, London has become a tale of two cities teetering on the edge of a social and environmental abyss. London makes dollars, but not much sense! The Green message should be broadcast from every rooftop without a solar panel.”
Caroline Russell said:
"I love London, but I believe it can be even better. It can be both the world's greatest city and the world's greenest city – but only if everyone, from the wealthiest to the poorest, shares in its success. I want London’s dynamic economy to lead a worldwide revolution in social innovation and green technology, with a Mayor committed to ensuring that the benefits are truly shared with everyone who lives here."
The candidates will each now take part in a series of local party hustings. Members have until the end of August to vote for their preferred candidate. The party expects to announce the winner of the ballot in the first week of September.