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Caroline Lucas to Stand Down at Next Election

caroline lucas

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas is to stand down at the next election as she says her parliamentary position results in her struggling to prioritise tackling climate issues.

The Former Green Party Leader told her constituents in Brighton Pavilion that she has been unable to spend the time she wanted on campaigns concerning the climate crisis.

Background

Caroline Lucas is currently the Green Party’s only MP. By standing down, she, joins a list of more than 50 MPs who have announced they will not be contesting the next election. They include the former SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, the Conservative former deputy prime minister, Dominic Raab and the former deputy Labour leader, Margaret Beckett.

Lucas became the first and only Green party candidate elected to parliament when she was elected in 2010. Her majority has increased at the subsequent three elections, with voters returning her to Parliament with a majority of almost 20,000 in 2019.

She has represented Brighton Pavilion since 2010. In her letter to her constituents, Lucas said: “I have always prided myself on being, first and foremost, a good constituency MP. I’ve done everything possible to help wherever I can and always worked to ensure that people feel heard, that their concerns matter, and that they are not alone.

“But the intensity of these constituency commitments, together with the particular responsibilities of being my party’s sole MP, mean that, ironically, I’ve not been able to focus as much as I would like on the existential challenges that drive me – the nature and climate emergencies.”

In comments first reported by the Argus newspaper in Brighton, Lucas said it had been the “privilege of my life to serve this extraordinary constituency and community”. She added: “I have always been a different kind of politician – as those who witnessed my arrest, court case and acquittal over peaceful protest at the fracking site in Balcombe nearly 10 years ago will recall.

“And the truth is, as these threats to our precious planet become ever more urgent, I have struggled to spend the time I want on these accelerating crises. I have therefore decided not to stand again as your MP at the next election.”

Responses

A tweet from Lucas with over 1 million views has also confirmed her decision to stand down. This received hundreds of replies, most expressing sadness and gratitude. Labour’s Clive Lewis replied thanking Lucas for her comradeship and said that working with Lucas on the Green New Deal was “an absolute honour”. Lib Dem MP, Layla Moran also stated “it’s been a pleasure to work with you” and regards her stepping down as a parliamentary loss.

Moreover, Gary Lineker tweeted “this is a great shame. Just as we need more Green MPs, we lose our first”.

The Green party co-leader Carla Denyer said: “Caroline’s impact on politics in this country cannot be overstated: she truly is a force of nature and has been an extraordinary servant of the people of Brighton Pavilion as well as the Green party. We are so proud of her achievements.”

The joint leader Adrian Ramsay said: “Very few politicians can claim to have changed the course of the national debate in the way Caroline has. She has brought so much to us as a party, shown real integrity in her work and added a crucial dimension to our democracy in this country.

“Having MPs who are genuinely dedicated to standing up for the climate and nature could not be more important than it is right now and that’s why we are striving to get more Green MPs elected at the next general election so that we can build on Caroline’s achievements.”

Final thought

Caroline Lucas’ time as an MP has been impactful and her hard work has ensured green policies remain on the agenda. Cross-party gratitude for her work demonstrates that, along with the support that she has in her constituency.

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