Autumn Conference 2023

Motion #02

Report of Leadership Group (Co-Leaders, Deputy Leader, Leader of Wales)

Motion passed


The leadership team prioritised building the party’s visibility in the media. In close partnership with the Communications team, the leaders rotated to ensure all press opportunities were seized strategically. They appeared on a wide range of national, regional and local media, through print, radio and TV and across the spectrum of political issues. They established national profiles trusted by key journalists, with whom they are building personal relationships, to ensure that the Green Party’s political voice is increasingly taken seriously. Opportunities for reactive press increased and gave a voice to the party on a wider range of topics, and the media was more receptive to proactive press.

The leaders carried our message of creating fairer and greener communities proactively and reactively, while striking a careful balance between commenting on current events and providing a distinctive perspective from the other parties to break into the news cycle. Lines were designed weekly with the GPEW communications team to support the party’s electoral strategy, with an evidence-based approach to messaging aiming to resonate in a concrete and relevant way to voters in both urban and rural target areas. The Co-Leaders continued to chair the monthly Political Committee (PolCom), where communication lines are discussed with a wide range of representatives of the party.

Communications highlights since last conference include Carla’s Question Time debut, Adrian’s second appearance on Any Questions, Zack’s long-form interview with Aaron Bastani, Anthony’s speech to a 10,000 strong independence rally in Swansea, and the strongest media coverage we’ve ever had of our local election results, including a significant increase of media coverage at a national level in Wales.

Field work and elections

The Co-Leaders visited key regions and local parties with the highest number of winnable target seats for local elections - most of which were in the South East and the East this year. Adrian and Carla also toured the West Midlands, the South West and the North East. So that the Co-Leaders could focus on electoral priorities and high profile media, Deputy Leader Zack took more flexible requests from the Field Team that served development areas and supported mobilisation of members. Zack covered the remaining South East, North West, East Midlands and Yorkshire & The Humber regions.

The leadership team actively pivoted local elections messaging towards the General Election, showing that Greens can win everywhere, from Labour and Conservatives, in rural and urban areas, despite First Past The Post. Their messaging highlighted what our local campaigns were hearing on the doorstep: that voters were sick of Conservatives but uninspired by Labour, and making a positive vote for Greens. They used every opportunity to champion the hard work and achievements of Greens in administration, showing that Greens do politics differently.

The Co-leaders are both target Parliamentary candidates in new constituencies, with Carla standing in Bristol Central and Adrian in Waveney Valley, so part of their contribution towards the party’s national General Election success is by running the best possible campaigns in their constituencies. By not standing as a parliamentary candidate, Zack was able to contribute to the national leadership focus and make more room for the Co-Leaders to focus on their respective constituency campaigns.

In February, Bristol Green Party won the closely fought Hotwells & Harbourside local by-election, making the Greens the largest group on Bristol City Council. And the imminent Parliamentary boundary changes make Bristol Central very winnable. In Waveney Valley, the 2023 local elections resulted in the Green Party taking overall control of Mid Suffolk District Council, the main council covering the constituency. Across Waveney Valley, Greens gained the higher number of votes and the highest number of district councillors. The West Depwade local by-election win in July further confirmed this momentum, showing clearly that Greens are the main challengers to Conservatives in Waveney Valley, where there is no incumbent MP.

Internal/external party work

The leadership team continued to work with civil society and external organisations by speaking at events, festivals, demonstrations, and rallies. The leaders campaigned with pressure groups and coalitions in line with Green Party policy and worked closely with unions to support their demands. They also continued to work with the wider network of Greens in the UK, at the European level, and internationally. In Wales this has included Anthony drafting and presenting Wales Green Party’s evidence to the government’s Constitutional Commission for Wales.

Though less visible to the public, the leadership had a busy and important role supporting good governance and advancing the party’s strategy. The nature of this role has been varied, and usually in collaboration with other internal entities, such as the Green Party Executive (GPEx), Regional Council (GPRC), members’ groups, committees, staff and elected Greens. Alongside colleagues on the Executive, they have helped advance the early stages of recommendations from external experts Diverse Matters on good practice in equality, equity, diversion and inclusion. They have supported the Spokesperson Support and Monitoring Group to successfully improve the diversity of our group of spokespeople, securing Greens with strong expertise for each of the respective spokesperson roles.

They have helped maintain and grow a strong internal focus on the party’s electoral goals, both in the continued major growth in our councillors numbers and the emphasis on gaining a group of Green MPs by growing momentum and focus on our target constituencies. In Wales Anthony has played a key role in drafting the strategy for getting the first Greens elected to the Senedd in 2026. The leaders have also played a key role in fundraising, supporting the development team with delivering national fundraising plans including personally securing a number of significant donations at both national and target constituency level.

The leaders have also supported the planning and delivery of the party’s conferences through speaking at a number of sessions and helping organise panel sessions at spring conference.

Last updated on 2023-10-21 at 11:41