Caroline Lucas to stand down at the next election

Lucas said she had struggled to ‘spend the time she wanted campaigning on the climate crisis’.

Former Green Party leader and the party’s first and only MP Caroline Lucas has announced that she intends to stand down at the next election.

Lucas, who was elected for Brighton Pavilion in 2010, said it had been the ‘honour of her life’ becoming the UK’s first Green MP, but that she had struggled to ‘spend the time she wanted campaigning on the climate crisis’.

In her letter to constituents, Lucas said: “I have always prided myself on being, first and foremost, a good constituency MP. I’ve done everything possible to help wherever I can and always worked to ensure that people feel heard, that their concerns matter, and that they are not alone.

“But the intensity of these constituency commitments, together with the particular responsibilities of being my party’s sole MP, mean that, ironically, I’ve not been able to focus as much as I would like on the existential challenges that drive me – the nature and climate emergencies.”

Lucas went on to add: “I have always been a different kind of politician – as those who witnessed my arrest, court case and acquittal over peaceful protest at the fracking site in Balcombe nearly 10 years ago will recall.

“And the truth is, as these threats to our precious planet become ever more urgent, I have struggled to spend the time I want on these accelerating crises.

“I have therefore decided not to stand again as your MP at the next election.”

Lucas’ decision to stand down comes a month after the Green party lost control of Brighton and Hove council.

Reacting to the news, Green party co-leader Carla Denyer said: “Caroline’s impact on politics in this country cannot be overstated: she truly is a force of nature and has been an extraordinary servant of the people of Brighton Pavilion as well as the Green party. We are so proud of her achievements.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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