Green Party city councillor Carla Denyer has been selected as the party’s candidate to contest the Bristol West parliamentary seat at the next general election, it was revealed in an announcement yesterday (16 September).
Denyer, who previously worked as an engineer in the renewable energy industry before becoming a city councillor in 2015, is known for having proposed the first Climate Emergency motion in Europe, which committed Bristol to go carbon neutral by 2030.
Bristol West is thought to be a key target seat for the Green Party at the next election as it looks to elect its second MP to join Caroline Lucas in the House of Commons. The Greens previously came a close second in the seat in the 2015 general election when Darren Hall won 26.8 per cent of the vote to the 35.7 per cent won by Thangam Debbonaire of Labour.
Although the Greens came third in the 2017 general election as Debbonaire increased her vote share by 30.3 per cent to 65.9 per cent of the vote, the Green Party’s results in Bristol during the 2019 European Parliament elections, where the party received 35 per cent of the vote across the whole of the city, has boosted the party’s hopes for the next election.
Commenting on her selection, Denyer said: “We’re facing a joint crisis for our climate and for our democracy, but the Greens have the ideas and the political will to push for progressive solutions. I’m hopeful and proud to have been chosen to fight this election for the Green Party. We speak with one voice in saying ‘Yes to Europe and No to climate chaos.’”
During her time as Green councillor in Bristol, Denyer has fought austerity and stood up for the most vulnerable in the city. She worked with the ACORN tenants’ union to stop cuts to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, resulting in a U-turn from Labour Mayor Marvin Rees, and proposed and won a budget amendment to save the city’s Local Crisis and Prevention Fund, which aims to prevent homelessness in the city.
“Bristol already has a strong group of Green councillors who have been holding this Labour-run authority to account. Our city needs people who get things done, and we need them representing us in Westminster. Caroline Lucas has demonstrated what a Green MP can achieve. She was the first MP to propose that Parliament declare a Climate Emergency, the first to call for a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal, and the first to bring forward an NHS Reinstatement Bill. She also fought against fracking, nuclear power and pollution, and championed clean, renewable energy. Our country needs more Green MPs and Bristol can make that happen.”
The Green Party has also chosen candidates for the other three parliamentary seats in Bristol in the event of a snap general election. Tony Dyer (Bristol South), Conan Connolly (Bristol East) and Heather Mack (Bristol North West) all also announced their candidacies yesterday.