Lucas and Jonathan Bartley are proposing a progressive party alliance for 2020
Caroline Lucas has announced that she will stand for shared leadership of the Green Party with Jonathan Bartley. If elected, they will become the first job-sharing party leaders in modern British politics.
‘Jonathan and I are seeking nominations as co-leaders because we believe that by sharing power and working together we’ll be more effective than either of us would alone,’ commented Lucas, a former party leader and the only Green MP.
‘We’ll both be dedicating our time to building up the Green Party, but the job-share means that I can also keep focussing on my constituents in Brighton, and my parliamentary work.’
Bartley is the party’s work and pensions spokesperson and the founder of the Christian think-tank Ekklesia, who has gained prominence as a disability campaigner.
‘Like any parent I struggle to balance work and family life,’ he commented. ‘And with the barriers that a disabled child like my son Samuel faces, I just couldn’t dedicate the time needed to be the sole leader of the Green Party.’
The pair have committed to starting a debate about a one-off progressive pact at the next general election with a view to getting the Tories out of power. Such a pact, between progressive parties with a commitment to electoral reform, could involve deals over who would contest particular parliamentary seats.
‘The one-off 2020 progressive pacts we’re talking about must be done on a case by case basis, as agreed by local parties, and will have at its core a commitment to a fair voting system,’ Bartley said.
‘If it happened it would only be in a handful of seats — but it could make all the difference. Time is up for the two-party system — we want to seize this moment to create a new kind of politics.’
Nominations for the party leadership opened today, following Natalie Bennett’s announcement that she will not seek a third term as leader. The campaign period will run through July, with the new leadership team announced at the Green Party autumn conference.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.