Green Party: Co-leaders hail highest number of councillors

Green Party co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay speak at their local election campaign launch in Bristol
Carla Denyer, who leads the party jointly with Adrian Ramsay, said voters in Bristol had chosen pluralism after the Greens were elected as the biggest party on the City Council [PA Media]

The Green Party of England and Wales has hailed a "record-breaking" campaign after securing its highest amount of elected councillors.

The party has boosted its total number of councillors to 812, after gaining 74 seats at England's local elections on Thursday.

The Greens also became the biggest party on Bristol City Council - but fell short of an overall majority.

"We're emerging with a new, even higher record," co-leader Adrian Ramsay said.

The Greens also became the largest party on Hastings Borough Council and have big numbers on councils including East Hertfordshire, Babergh, East Suffolk, Mid Suffolk, Lewes, Folkestone and Hythe and the Forest of Dean.

Elsewhere, the Greens won their first councillors on Newcastle, Sefton and Redditch councils.

Co-leader Carla Denyer said she was "really pleased" the party had again boosted its total number of councillors, for the fifth election in a row.

She said her party had capitalised on disappointment from Labour voters over its U-turn on green investment, as well as its position on public ownership of public services.

She also said they had picked up votes from Labour voters who were unhappy with its stance on Gaza.

The Greens called for an "immediate ceasefire" in the Israel-Hamas conflict around four months before Labour, and is also pushing for an embargo on UK arms sales to Israel.

General election hopes

The party is aiming to field candidates in every seat in England and Wales at this year's general election, which would mark a first for the party.

However, it is hoping to target four seats in particular, as it seeks to translate local gains into increased representation at Westminster.

These include Bristol Central, a newly-created constituency largely replacing the Labour-held Bristol West seat, and Brighton Pavilion, currently held by its only MP Caroline Lucas, who is leaving Parliament.

It is also targeting two Tory areas: North Herefordshire and Waveney Valley, another newly-created seat straddling the border between Norfolk and Suffolk.

Labour's deputy national campaign co-ordinator admitted the party has "a great deal of work to do to rebuild trust with Muslim communities".

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Ellie Reeves said Labour fell back in some areas adding they "understand people's concerns about what's happening in Gaza".

Graph showing Green Party wins after local elections in May 2024
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