2022 GPEx elections – Chair

Four candidates/candidate pairs are running for Chair in this year's GPEx elections. 

Green World

Adrian Spurrell

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Adrian Spurrell

"We need to be more ambitious in our targeting at the local level. We are now seen externally as a real force in politics, and we need to believe this internally as well."

"We have to focus on getting more MPs as a priority as that will attract more funding, more members and more activists."

"We need to grow levels of trust in the party."

Hello, I’m Adrian Spurrell and I am asking for your first preference vote in the ballot for chair of GPEx – the Executive Committee.

I am a member of the Luton and Bedfordshire Green Party where I am their treasurer. I am also the Eastern Region’s representative on the Regional Council, a role I have undertaken for the last five years, and have been co-chair of the Council for the last year and a half.

All things come to an end though and I will have to step down from the regional roles in October, but believe I still have much to offer the Party – hence my candidacy.

I have set out in my official statement some of the areas that I think I would focus on if elected, but I’d like to talk here about my approach and the way I would go about it. Firstly we need to grow the belief in the Party. We are now seen externally as a real force in politics, and we need to believe this internally as well.  

We have shown year in, year out that we can win under first-past-the-post in local elections and it’s time to show that now in general elections as well. We also need to be more ambitious in our targeting at the local level. Growing by one additional councillor each election, especially when these are four years apart, isn’t enough.

Secondly, I would really focus the resources of the Party on the few things that, if we get them right, will make a big difference. I’ve worked with businesses that have multi-million pound budgets, but we don’t. We have a relatively small budget and we need to be conscious of every penny we spend and how we choose to spend it. We have to focus on getting more MPs as a priority as that will attract more funding, more members and more activists. That’s not to say we won’t be doing those things along the way, but we always need to be clear in our focus and disciplined in our execution.

Finally, we need to grow levels of trust in the Party. That comes from increased transparency and GPEx being clear in the commitments it is making to members and delivering on those commitments. It is about developing our skills and competence. And it is about creating a caring and inclusive culture that recognises the existential angst caused by the climate and ecological crisis; the impact on social justice of wealth differentials, institutional racism, toxic masculinity and casual ableism; and frustration and exclusion created by the casual dismantling of our democratic processes and outdated electoral system. High trust organisations work faster and at lower cost than low trust ones.

We can do this if we pull together, if GPEx pulls together. I believe I have the skills and experience to make this happen. So please give me your first choice for Chair of GPEx.

Thank you,

Ash Routh and Melanie Earp

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Ash Routh and Melanie Earp

"We’re standing to be your next GPEx Co-chairs because we believe that our collective experience is exactly what is needed to ensure the Party is being run correctly."

"We will ensure that the Party is being managed competently, effectively, and that our democratically mandated constitution and policies are respected."

"The Green Party might never fully agree on every single policy, but we ought to be able to agree that we’ve been poorly managed, and that this needs to change."

The success of the Green Party is crucial if we want to achieve environmental and social justice, a collaborative society, and a government that works for the benefit of everybody. Right now is a crucial time for the Party, as we go from success to success in elections, we need to ensure that the Party is being well managed, that our policy is well understood and well expressed, and that both our constitution and the law are being carefully abided by the Party. 

We’re standing to be your next GPEx Co-chairs because we believe that our collective experience is exactly what is needed to ensure the Party is being run correctly. Ash’s experience interpreting our conference and our policy as a member of the Standing Orders Committee, and Mel’s years of experience as a lawyer mean that we bring unrivalled understanding of our obligations as a party, both legally, and constitutionally. Coupled with Mel’s experience as our candidate for Greater Manchester, and Ash’s experience as Co-chair of LGBTIQA+ Greens, we bring experience in representing the Party, and in leading within the Party. 

We will ensure that the Party is being managed competently, effectively, and that our democratically mandated constitution and policies are respected. In recent years, money has been wasted, legal challenges have arisen, the constitution and our party rules have been bent, and at times, ignored completely. These issues are the product of poor management, and for us to succeed as a party, this must end. 

If elected, we will push for: 

Greater transparency in our management. Too many of GPEx’s decisions are being made behind closed doors, and there hasn’t been enough work done to ensure the members actually know how our party is being run, and who is running it. With greater transparency comes greater scrutiny and accountability, which is exactly what the Party needs. Mistakes are made when major decisions are being made behind closed doors. 

Better communication between our National Executive, our Regional Council, Disciplinary Committee, and Standing Orders Committee. The majority of our management missteps have come about as a direct result of the failure of GPEx to adequately consult with these committees, or when GPEx has actively ignored them. This must stop – party management is a collaborative effort, not a hierarchical one. 

Modernising the way we run. We are a party that is five times larger than was anticipated when a lot of our processes were put in place, and this has caused problems. So far, efforts to modernise our conference, management, disciplinary, and policy proposal processes have largely been unsuccessful. A National Executive that works to coordinate these efforts will be able to succeed in modernising and professionalising our party. This can only be achieved as a team effort. 

The Green Party might never fully agree on every single policy, but we ought to be able to agree that we’ve been poorly managed, and that this needs to change. This August, please use your vote to push for much-needed structural change.

Jon Nott

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Jon Nott

"We must ensure good governance by reforming our structures to reflect the requirements of a party with 50,000 members and over 500 elected representatives."

"At all levels, the Party needs to reflect and represent the communities we serve."

"We have laid the groundwork by investing in a massive upgrade of our fundraising and membership systems – now we need to ensure we have the capacity to make full use of these new tools."

What do I bring to the role?

Professionally, I served as the Green Party’s first Chief Executive in the two years prior to the election of Caroline Lucas as our first MP in 2010, then spent a decade as Chief Executive of a co-operative, youth-led charity. Prior to that, I worked as a professional fundraiser for several campaigning organisations. 

In a voluntary capacity, I was elected vice-chair of CND at the age of 23 and have 25 years’ experience leading the boards of member-led campaigning organisations, as well as chairing a national education charity, a radical bookshop and a co-operative lender supporting workers and community-owned businesses. 

In the Party, I chaired the Advisory Board for the Green MEPs, have held multiple roles at a local and regional level, acted as the Party’s ERO and, since 2019 sat on the Party Executive and served as Party Treasurer and for the past year as Co-Deputy Chair. 

What do I hope to achieve?

The role of Chair is to facilitate an effective Party Executive to ensure the delivery of the Political Strategy agreed upon by members at Conference. In short, we need to make sure that the infrastructure is in place to support getting more Greens elected, to bring about positive change in our communities and across our two nations. 

I see three priorities for the Executive as we prepare for the next General Election: 

1. Ensure good governance by reforming our structures to reflect the requirements of a party with 50,000 members and over 500 elected representatives. But changing structures alone is not enough, we also need to ensure that the Party’s culture matches our values, as set out in the philosophical basis. 

2. Ensure that, at all levels, the Party reflects and represents the communities we serve. The diversity and inclusion audit recently commissioned by the Executive provides a map to becoming the welcoming and inclusive Party that we aspire to be – an aspiration we often fall far short of. Again this will require both structural and cultural change. 

3. Increase the resources available to support our elected representatives, target candidates, local and regional parties and the central infrastructure that supports both the achievement of our political objectives and our internal democracy. We have laid the groundwork by investing in a massive upgrade of our fundraising and membership systems – now we need to ensure we have the capacity to make full use of these new tools. 

What do others say? 

“In the Green Party I have worked with Jon on local campaigns, as staff, and on GPEx for over 15 years and, to me, his experience, commitment and values make him our perfect Chair. 

“The way he can lead meetings to make sure voices in debates are heard respectfully, while ensuring clear, strategic and democratic decisions are made and followed up, is exactly what the party needs right now.” Siân Berry, London Assembly Member and former Co-Leader 

Please make Jon Nott your first preference for GPEx Chair. Thank you.

Tina Rothery and Alison Teal

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Alison Teal and Tina Rothery

"We take the climate and nature crisis seriously and we believe the GPEW’s principal objective is to use all levers possible to bring about a sustainable society."

"We would like to provide greater incentives to encourage our members to engage in growing GPEW membership and votes."

"We propose a temporary alliance of organisations invested in green issues and social justice and equity, including political parties, trade unions, and campaigning organisations."

Hello everyone, we are Tina Rothery and Alison Teal and we are standing to job-share the role of Chair of GPEx.

This is being written on a day that’s expected to reach a record-breaking summer temperature in the UK. We have seen changes in weather patterns already leading to an increased incidence of flooding. We know there is a significant loss of biodiversity which is predicted to become worse. Thousands have joined in XR protest action; Youth Strike 4 Climate demonstrations; Alok Sharma’s emotional plea for action at COP26; David Attenborough addressing the UN; Greta Thunberg deriding the world’s elite at Davos; we could go on. Suffice it to say that one might imagine the GPEW would be in demand to speak at events and in the media. We call ourselves the political wing of the Green movement, but do others see us this way? 

We believe the GPEW has a leadership role to play in the battle to put the climate and nature crisis front and centre of the political agenda and we have ideas on how to achieve this. We take the climate and nature crisis seriously and we believe the GPEW’s principal objective is to use all levers possible to bring about a sustainable society. 

The party has many committed hardworking volunteers who are owed a debt of gratitude for facilitating our increasing success in local elections defying the unfair voting system of first-past-the-post. However, the majority of the party is inactive and possibly engaged in supporting actions in many other green-focused groups like XR. We would like to provide greater incentives to encourage our members to engage in growing GPEW membership and votes. 

We would like to begin this process by initiating/hosting People’s Assemblies addressing the question: What will we do to transform our climate and the nature-destroying system as quickly as possible? We propose a temporary alliance of organisations invested in green issues and social justice and equity, including political parties, trade unions, and campaigning organisations.

Our eco-socialist policies and vision for a sustainable society build a narrative which ought to be attracting millions of disaffected ex-Labour voters who should have recognition and attention from our party, along with a commitment to reinvigorate their de-industrialised communities. We think the greatest untapped political resource in the nation is the working-class vote, which is also where we could attract greater ethnic and income diversity membership than our current mostly white middle-class members. 

Capitalism is antithetical to a sustainable society and we do not need to copy mainstream parties by moving rightwards to appear moderate and centrist, this section of the electorate is already overrepresented. We ought not to do deals with parties who support the neoliberal agenda, our political programme is vastly different and we should be proud of our eco-socialist programme. We are excited to proclaim our radical policies as the answer to planet-wrecking centuries of exploitation of people and nature. 

We need a Green New Deal!