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Greens to push Labour to ‘be braver’ on climate, sewage and cost of living
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Greens to push Labour to ‘be braver’ on climate, sewage and cost of living

The Green party will push the incoming Labour government to “be braver” on key issues, from the climate crisis and sewage in rivers to housing and tax, according to Carla Denyer, the party’s co-leader and one of its four new MPs.

The party quadrupled its number of MPs, beating Labour in Bristol Central and Brighton Pavilion and the Conservatives in Waveney Valley and North Herefordshire.

Denyer, the new MP for Bristol Central, said: “We are really delighted by the level of trust and support we have seen for the Greens, not just in our four target seats but in constituencies up and down the country.”

The party gained nearly 2m votes overall and came second in 39 constituencies, giving it a “crucial electoral bridgehead”, she said.

Denyer said the party would use its increased parliamentary presence to push the Labour party to go further on a range of progressive policies. “This result shows that many voters have had enough of incremental change – we need far-reaching action that can make a real difference to people’s lives, to tackle the issues they are facing … We, as Green MPs, will push Labour to be braver.”

Denyer said the party would fight for more urgent action to tackle the climate and cost of living crises, from the rollout of home insulation and heat pumps to greater investment in renewable energy. She said this transition to a low-carbon future had to be properly funded and planned, and not penalise working people financially.

The party will also push the Labour government on action to tackle sewage in the UK’s rivers and seas and improve its housing offer.

She also said the Greens would make the case for a wealth tax on the super-rich to help fund investment in the UK’s crumbling public services.

“The Green party is the only one that is being honest about the state of our public services and what it will take to tackle them – and we shall be making that case loud and clear in parliament.”

The party said its success was the result of “solid and positive campaigning” on the ground in its target constituencies.

Adrian Ramsay, the party’s co-leader who won in the new seat of Waveney Valley, said it was the first time someone other than a Conservative MP had represented that part of the country.

“The map of East Anglia is being redrawn. Gone is the sea of blue, to be replaced by swathes of Green,” he said.

Ellie Chowns, who won her seat from the Tories in North Herefordshire, said although it was clear the Conservatives had become deeply unpopular, the result had more to do with the Greens’ “positive offer” on investment in health, care and dental services, affordable housing and cleaning up rivers.

“Our role now is to challenge the Labour government to be better and we will strive to do that every day,” she said.

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Writing on X, Denyer paid tribute to the campaign group Green New Deal Rising, which mobilised thousands of young people to campaign for Green candidates, and those from other parties with a good record on the climate and nature crisis, Gaza and economic justice.

The group’s volunteers knocked on more than 10,000 doors in constituencies across the country, including those the Green party won, as well as Islington North, where the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was victorious as an independent.

Fatima Ibrahim, the co-director of Green New Deal UK, said: “At this election we set out to prove that climate justice is non-negotiable, that social movements can win, and that young people will be heard. We proved all of it.”

She said the incoming prime minister, Keir Starmer, had taken young voters for granted for too long. “What happened in places like Bristol shows our power. Labour was forced to respond to anger on climate justice, housing and austerity. When offered commitments to a wealth tax, ending privatisation and proper funding for green jobs, voters chose them. The message was clear: we demand better, and together we can get it.”

Source: theguardian.com