Caroline Lucas & Keith Taylor returned as Greens' Principal Speakers

3 November 2004

3 November 2004

The Green Party of England and Wales has formally announced the results of its election for national Principal Speakers.

The two victorious candidates both serve as elected representatives for Brighton and Hove. The Principal Speakers are the party's figureheads who fulfil the national public and media role undertaken by the leaders of more traditional parties.

Dr Caroline Lucas, Green Euro-MP for South East England, which includes Brighton and Hove, was returned unchallenged as one of the two principal speakers with her overwhelming vote constituting a resounding endorsement (1).

Dr Lucas was also re-elected as a Euro-MP earlier this year with an increased share of the vote, consolidating the English Greens' place in the European Parliament.

Keith Taylor by Brighton Pavilion

And Councillor Keith Taylor, a Brighton & Hove city councillor and the Greens? Parliamentary candidate for the Brighton Pavilion constituency which has the highest Green vote in the country - defeated a challenge from Yorkshireman John Phillips to be returned as the other national Principal Speaker(2).

Cllr Taylor is convenor of one of the strongest local authority Green Party groups in Britain, with his group holding the balance of power on the £500 million a year Brighton and Hove City Council, which is in no overall control.

He also has the record for the highest ever Green Party vote in a general election, winning almost 10% as the Green candidate in Brighton Pavilion in 2001, a seat which the Greens aim to win at the next election.

A national Green Party spokesperson said today: "Keith and Caroline make a very strong team. Either of them would be a better prime minister than Tony Blair in every sense.

"They both have the ability to put the party's policies across to the public in down-to-earth terms and without resorting to the sort of spin we get from Labour and the LibDems or the dumbed-down messages we hear from the Tories."

Caroline Lucas was recently voted one of Britain's three best-known MEPs - an amazing achievement for a politician from a relatively small party - and was also hailed by a European pressure group as Britain's most reform-minded MEP. She has been Principal Speaker for the last year.

Keith Taylor was first appointed Principal Speaker earlier this year after the tragic death of Councillor Dr Mike Woodin who died aged 38 from cancer. Dr Woodin, an Oxford don, was one of the Green Party's first ever city councillors in England.

Dr Woodin had been Principal Speaker for most of the previous eight years. Keith Taylor's Brighton and Hove Greens had become rivals of Mike Woodin's Oxford Greens in the race to increase their party's vote-share and both gained 20% of the vote for the Greens in this year's Euro-elections thehighest city- wide Green votes in the country.

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact: Geoffrey Bowden, Brighton & Hove Green
Party Communications Officer, on 07958 682 683 or the National Green Party
Press Office: 020 7561 0282 or 07973 736351.

For more information about the Mational Green Party, please visit the national website at and for the Brighton and HOve Green Party please visit:

Keith for

Councillor Keith Taylor is the parliamentary candidate for the strongest Green constituency in the country, Brighton Pavilion, where Greens hope to topple the sitting Labour MP. In the recent European elections the Greens came first in the constituency and beat Labour city-wide! Visit his website at

1. In Green Party elections there is always an option to vote ?R.O.N.? - re- open nominations - which allows the members to express concern if there is only one candidate. If R.O.N wins, the election will be re-run until there is a clear expression of support for the candidate. (R.O.N has never won, but the Greens regard the rule as an important safeguard.) Caroline Lucas, unchallenged, polled more than 99% of the votes cast.

2. Keith Taylor polled nearly 60% of the votes cast


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