Green Party leader hopefuls launch bids

Wales party spokeswoman Pippa Bartolotti and North West MEP candidate Peter Cranie launch bids to replace Caroline Lucas

The contest to replace Caroline Lucas MP as the next leader of the Green Party has stepped up a notch after two party members announced their candidacy.

Wales Green Party spokeswoman Pippa Bartolotti confirmed last night that she would stand in the leadership election expected to take place in early September.

“It’s high time there was some healthy competition for this role, and I’m hoping several people will put their name forward,” she wrote on Facebook.

“The Greens need to open up the debate and forge a robust direction. Maybe I’m too straight talking for some, but I am prepared to stand up and tell it like it is.”

Peter Cranie also kicked off his bid to lead the Green Party today with a campaign seeking to attract voters who are disillusioned by the Coalition’s programme of spending cuts.

If elected as Green Party leader, he hopes to make the Greens more efficient, increase its membership with a more strategic approach to fundraising, and give greater support to local parties seeking to win council seats.

“There’s a large sector of the electorate that’s vehemently opposed to the austerity agenda,” Cranie told BusinessGreen. “And the only party offering them the policies they want is the Green Party.”

He has also long argued for major government investment in green technology. As a Euro-election candidate in 2009 he helped launch the Green Party’s Euro-election manifesto, which proposed a package of government investments calculated to generate a million new jobs in the UK.

“It’s widely known that renewable energy sustains more jobs per unit of power than fossil fuel or nuclear energy,” Cranie said. “As Green Party leader I would work hard to get this message across to the public, that green energy policies are especially jobs-rich.”

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