Green Party announces candidate for London Mayor

Zoë Garbett is set to contest the next mayoral election for the Greens

Green Party London Mayor candidate Zoe Garbett

In May 2024, Londoners will go to the polls to elect a new mayor. Labour’s Sadiq Khan will be seeking an unprecedented third term in office. Now we know who the Green Party’s candidate will be too.

Following a vote of London Green Party members, Zoë Garbett – a Councillor in Hackney since 2022 – has been selected to contest the election.

Garbett saw off two other contenders in the internal contest, receiving 51.2% of the vote. Islington Councillor Benali Hamdache came second with 26.5% and former MEP for London Scott Ainslie came third with 20.5%.

Garbett’s candidacy received the backing of high profile Greens including the party’s sole MP Caroline Lucas, the party’s former co-leader Siân Berry and London Assembly member Caroline Russell.

As a Councillor, Garbett has become known within the Green Party for her work supporting Deliveroo riders and standing in solidarity with the IWGB Union. She has also played a key role in reshaping the Greens’ policy on drugs.

Speaking on her selection, Garbett said: “I’m overjoyed to have been chosen to be the Green Party’s candidate for London Mayor and want to say a huge thank you to Greens across London who have selected me. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support and I can’t wait to start this campaign.” 

She added: “I got into politics because I cannot sit by and watch issues and people being ignored. Greens are compassionate, proactive and incredibly hardworking. And with the multiple crises we are facing – the cost of living and housing crisis, the crisis in our workforce and of course the climate crisis – the need for more elected Greens has never been more urgent.

“Every day, Greens are putting our values into practice – and people like what they see. Just imagine what a Green-powered London could look like! We have the energy, ideas and candidates to run our most ambitious campaign yet – not just to set the agenda but to turn city hall Green in 2024.”

The Green Party came third in the last three elections for London Mayor – coming three points ahead of the Liberal Democrats in the 2021 contest.

In 2024, the mayoral election will take place under the first past the post system for the first time after changes made by the Tories in the 2022 Elections Act. In previous elections, Londoners have been able to express two preferences in the election, with the second preference being counted if their first preference did not come in the top two places.

The move away from a preferential system of voting has been criticised by democracy campaigners. The Electoral Reform Society has called it a ‘step back for voters’ and said it will ‘lead to voters having less of a say in our democratic processes’.

Concurrent with the Mayoral election, voters in London will also cast ballots to elect new members of the London Assembly, a body which scrutinises the Mayor and has the power to amend the Mayor’s budget. Elections to the London Assembly will still take place using a semi-proportional system.

The Green Party has also now announced the candidates that will contest the London-wide list, the part of the election that will be elected by proportional representation.

Incumbent Assembly members Siân Berry, Caroline Russell and Zack Polanski top the Greens list, with Garbett fourth. The full order of the party’s list candidates is as follows:

  1. Siân Berry – London Assembly member, Camden Councillor and former co-leader of the Green Party
  2. Caroline Russell – London Assembly member and Islington Councillor
  3. Zack Polanski – Deputy leader of the Green Party and London Assembly member
  4. Zoë Garbett – Hackney Councillor and Green Party 2024 London Mayoral candidate
  5. Benali Hamdache – Islington Councillor and Green Party migration spokesperson
  6. Scott Ainslie – Lambeth Councillor and former MEP for London
  7. Ria Patel – Croydon Councillor and Green Party equalities spokesperson
  8. Nate Higgins – Newham Councillor
  9. Claire Sheppard – Camberwell and Peckham candidate in the 2019 general election
  10. Shahrar Ali – Deputy leader of the Green Party 2014-2016
  11. Pete Elliot – Former Lambeth Councillor

The Green Party currently holds three seats on the London Assembly, all of them elected through the proportional list. Since the London Assembly was created in 2000, the Greens have always held between two and three seats.

This article was jointly published with Bright Green.

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward

Image credit: Twitter screengrab

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