Grenville Ham to take on Wales Green Party leadership as Alice Hooker-Stroud steps down

6 March 2017

Leader of the Wales Green Party Alice Hooker-Stroud today announced that she will be stepping down at the end of March. Grenville Ham, current deputy leader and expert in renewable energy, will take over.

Grenville Ham, said:

“I want to thank Alice for all her contributions to the Wales Green Party, and to build on this movement which genuinely represents the best interests of Welsh people, rather than one that panders to big business. I look forward to continuing the Wales Green Party’s work of creating a society where people are more important than profit”.

Talking about next steps for the Wales Green Party, Ham added: “It will be an immense privilege to lead the party into the Council elections in May. My priority will be to support all of the hardworking Wales Green Party candidates who offer their communities the chance to vote for fresh ideas and a positive future. I will be standing myself in Brecon, and I’m already seeing local people recognise that in order to get a meaningful change they can’t keep voting for the same old parties”.

Hooker-Stroud, who has led the Wales Green Party since the beginning of 2016, said in a statement today that the lack of funding for smaller parties in the UK has contributed to her position being untenable.

Hooker-Stroud said:

“I love Wales and I feel honoured to have represented the Wales Green Party’s vision on behalf of our members. Though the decision to step down was not easy, it was made easier by the fact I knew I would be handing over to Grenville, a committed, skilled, and experienced member of the Wales Green Party who will take us forward with confidence to the elections in May.

Speaking of her reasons for stepping down, Hooker-Stroud said:

“As a party that cares about who lines our pockets, we don’t take funds from big business donors like other parties do. That means our members have the biggest say – not corporate lobbyists, but it has contributed to my role being effectively a voluntary one, which for me has sadly become untenable. I am proud that every person in our party has an equal say, and proud that when I speak on behalf of the party, that I know I speak on behalf of our members. However, the financing of political parties in general needs urgent reform so that politicians aren’t just the mouthpieces for big business, and so that alternative voices are heard.”

Hooker-Stroud added: “Parties that have a lot of money can do a lot, and those who have a smaller amount can do less. That is how contemporary politics works. We need to level the playing field financially for political parties in Wales, and in the UK. It would be a much fairer country all round for everyone.”

Notes

[1] The Wales Green Party campaigns to make politics fairer, which includes fairer finances for political parties. The party call for a cap on large donations that mean wealthy individuals and organisations have a huge influence on politics, and for state funding to be available to parties who achieve more than 3% of a proportional national vote. Other countries, such as Sweden already give state funding to political parties to level the financial playing field.

[2] Ham was elected as a deputy leader in December in 2016. He gained over 50% of the Wales Green Party membership vote against two other candidates. He ran as a candidate on the regional list for Mid and West Wales in the Welsh Assembly elections last year and is currently standing in this May’s council elections in his own ward, St Mary’s in Brecon. He runs a not-for-profit engineering company in Powys and has been awarded the British Empire Medal for ‘Services to the Renewable Energy in Wales’.






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