Green Party announces 2016-2017 spokespeople

11 February 2016

* Larry Sanders, brother of US presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders becomes Party’s new health spokesperson

* Sanders: “Bernie’s main platform is almost identical to the Green Party’s"

* New fleet of spokespeople a reflection of the Green Party's commitment to promoting diversity and inclusiveness at all levels

Bernie Sanders, who won a decisive victory over Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary earlier this week will be celebrating again after his brother Larry was unveiled today (11 February) in the new Green Party Cabinet.

Larry Sanders, whose brother Bernie is neck and neck with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination for the 2016 US Presidential candidate, will be the party’s new health spokesperson.

Larry Sanders, who has over thirty years’ experience working in healthcare and stood for the Greens in the May 2015 General Election, said:

“If we want to make the nation healthier, we need to do it by investing in more than the NHS. For example, in housing, we need to insulate our homes better, a measure that could have a profound impact by making the poorest in our society warmer and healthier. I also want to do everything I can to make sure that Caroline Lucas’s NHS Reinstatement Bill [1] makes it through Parliament. This cross-party initiative could act as a roadblock to NHS privatisation and this, for me, is the single most important issue.

“2016 should be another good year for the Green Party, but we’re not in the public’s eye as much as we should be. We’re the only party that is consistently speaking out against NHS privatisation and we know that the public supports us on this issue. We just need to be given the opportunity to tell them about the full extent of what’s being done by hard-working Green councillors and activists up and down the country.”

In recent weeks, the Green Party has been urging the BBC to reverse its decision not to allocate a Party Political Broadcast to the Greens in England in 2016 [2].

On his brother’s presidential election chances, Larry added:

“I wasn’t so sure how he would do at first, but the way things have been going recently, can he do it? Yes he can.”

Larry noted:

“Bernie’s main platform is almost identical to the Green Party’s."

Larry’s appointment and that of the other new spokespeople [3] comes as part of the party’s annual spokesperson refresh.

Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett said:

“We’re delighted to unveil this list of talented, passionate spokespeople whose expertise can only help boost the party’s reputation and help draw even more attention to Green Party values and policies. 

“I am proud that nearly 60% of our new spokespeople are female, that a quarter of our spokespeople are people of colour or from minority ethnicities and that an eighth are LGBTIQ. This is a reflection of the Green Party's commitment to promoting diversity and inclusiveness at all levels."

Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, will speak on Environment and Climate Change. All three Green MEPs – Molly Scott Cato (Economy and Finance), Jean Lambert (Migration) and Keith Taylor (Animals) - continue in spokesperson roles. Baroness Jenny Jones, the Green Party's peer will be standing up for the Green Party in the House of Lords.

Shahrar Ali and Amelia Womack, Deputy Leaders of the Green Party, take on new roles as Home Affairs, and Culture, Media and Sport spokespeople, respectively. Leaders Natalie Bennett and Alice Hooker-Stroud will continue to speak across issues on behalf of GPEW and the Wales Green Party.    

Besides Sanders, there are ten Greens who become spokespeople for the first time this year: Tony Dyer, Green Party Bristol Mayoral candidate (Local Government), Esther Obiri-Darko (Science and Technology), Rachel Collinson (Business, Innovation and Skills), Rebecca Johnson (Peace and Defence), Vix Lowthion (Education), Elaha Walizadeh (International Development), Oliver Dowding (Agriculture), Aimee Challenor (Equalities, LGBTIQ), Rashid Nix (Equalities, People of Colour), and Samir Jarej (Housing). 

Also staying on in their previous or fresh spokesperson roles are Jonathan Bartley (Work and Pensions), Cllr Caroline Russell (Transport), Cllr. Andrew Cooper (Energy), Charley Pattison (Justice), Mags Lewis (Disability), and Sarah Cope (Equalities, Women). 




[3] The Green Party 2016-2017 spokespeople are:

Economy and Finance: Molly Scott Cato MEP

Migration: Jean Lambert MEP

Work and Pensions: Jonathan Bartley

Local Government: Tony Dyer, Green Party Bristol Mayoral candidate

Transport: Cllr. Caroline Russell

Energy: Cllr. Andrew Cooper

Animals: Keith Taylor MEP

Science and Technology: Esther Obiri-Darko

Environment and Climate Change: Caroline Lucas MP

Home Affairs: Shahrar Ali, Deputy Leader

Justice: Charley Pattison

Health: Larry Sanders

Business, Innovation & Skills: Rachel Collinson

Culture, Media & Sport: Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader

Peace and Defence: Rebecca Johnson

Disability: Mags Lewis

Education: Vix Lowthion

International Development: Elaha Walizadeh

Agriculture: Oliver Dowding

Equalities (Women): Sarah Cope

Equalities (LGBTIQ): Aimee Challenor

Equalities (POC): Rashid Nix

Housing: Samir Jarej

Member of House of Lords: Baroness Jenny Jones

Welsh Leader: Alice Hooker-Stroud

Leader: Natalie Bennett

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