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Monday, 16th Sep 2019

Green Party chooses Climate Emergency campaigner Carla Denyer to win Bristol West parliamentary seat

[press release] Former wind turbine engineer and current city councillor, Carla Denyer, has been picked to contest the winnable seat of Bristol West for the Green Party at the coming General Election. 

The Green Party is now the clear frontrunner in Bristol as the countdown continues to the next elections, after the party saw spectacular results in the 2019 EU election, receiving 35% of the vote across the city. This was 17,606 votes clear of the nearest contender and more than double the Labour vote - a fall in vote share which was widely attributed to Labour’s shifting and ambiguous national policy on Brexit [2]. 

Carla Denyer, who is credited as having started the national movement on Climate Emergencies in the UK by proposing the first one here in Bristol, has been a long-standing activist, and Bristol City Councillor since 2015. She said: 

“We’re facing a joint crisis for our climate and for our democracy, but the Greens have the ideas and the political will to push for progressive solutions. I’m hopeful and proud to have been chosen to fight this election for the Green Party. We speak with one voice in saying ‘Yes to Europe and No to climate chaos.’”  

As well as her work on the Climate Emergency, Carla Denyer has a strong track record fighting council cuts and standing up for the vulnerable in Bristol. She worked with ACORN tenants’ union to stop cuts to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, resulting in a reluctant U-turn from the Labour Mayor, and proposed and won a budget amendment to save the city’s Local Crisis and Prevention Fund which helps prevent homelessness.  

Councillor Denyer said: “Bristol already has a strong group of Green councillors who have been holding this Labour-run authority to account. Our city needs people who get things done, and we need them representing us in Westminster. Caroline Lucas has demonstrated what a Green MP can achieve. She was the first MP to propose that Parliament declare a Climate Emergency [4], the first to call for a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal, and the first to bring forward an NHS Reinstatement Bill. She also fought against fracking, nuclear power and pollution, and championed clean, renewable energy. Our country needs more Green MPs and Bristol can make that happen.”

Former Green Party Bristol West candidate Molly Scott Cato was re-elected as a South West MEP in May 2019 with an hugely increased majority. Molly Scott Cato, now standing as the Green candidate for Stroud, said: “Carla will be an excellent MP for Bristol West and I look forward to supporting her campaign.” 

The Green Party are the main contenders in Bristol West, which is historically a swing seat. It has been held by Labour and the Lib Dems within the last five years, and the Greens came a close second in 2015 [3]. 

The Green Party has chosen candidates for all four seats in Bristol in the event of a snap General Election. Tony Dyer (Bristol South), Conan Connolly (Bristol East) and Heather Mack (Bristol North West) are all also announcing their candidacies today. 

Image credit: Jon Craig

ENDS 

**Photo Call – Friday 20thSeptember, 6pm**
Advanced notice of Carla Denyer’s candidate launch event
Carla Denyer will officially be launching her campaign at an event on College Green in Bristol on Friday 20thSeptember, 2019. She will give a speech and be available afterwards for interview from 6pm.  

Photos of Carla available to download here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/eWaiybf2uboivteA9
Photos of all Bristol Green Party parliamentary candidates here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/CmdpJtN2esYPmoKV9 

Notes to editors: 

[1] In 2018 Carla Denyer proposed the first Climate Emergency motion in Europe, committing Bristol to go carbon neutral by 2030. This started a wave of similar motions across the country, with over 200 local authorities, plus the UK Parliament and Scottish and Welsh governments, having now declared a Climate Emergency. https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-climate-emergency-carbon-neutral-2219477

[2] European election results for Bristol city region https://live-bcpcouncil-bournemouth.cloud.contensis.com/Council-and-Democratic/Consultation-And-Research/Consultations-and-research-docs/EU-elections-regional-results-23-May-2019-002.pdf

[3] Bristol West constituency was held between 2010 and 2015 by Stephen Williams (Liberal Democrat). In 2015, Thangam Debonnaire (Labour) won, with Darren Hall (Green) coming a close second on 26.8% of the vote https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_West_%28UK_Parliament_constituency%29#Elections_in_the_2010 

[4] Early Day motion from Caroline Lucas, calling on parliament to declare a national climate emergency, back in March 2019 https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/52682/ukwide-climate-emergency


Candidate Biographies
 

Carla Denyer (Bristol West) - Carla is a Green Party councillor in Bristol. In 2018 she proposed the first Climate Emergency motion in Europe, committing Bristol to go carbon neutral by 2030. This started a wave of similar motions across the country, with over 200 local authorities, plus the UK Parliament and Scottish and Welsh governments, having now declared a Climate Emergency. Before entering politics, Carla worked as an engineer in the renewable energy industry, specialising in offshore and onshore wind technology. She was also a candidate in the 2019 European Elections for the South West.

Tony Dyer (Bristol South) - Born on the Hartcliffe estate, the son of a Bedminster-born postman and a Knowle West housewife, Tony Dyer is committed to seeing real and sustainable change for South Bristol. After leaving Hartcliffe school in 1981 to work in the construction industry, Tony later reskilled to join the IT training industry where he worked for a local not-for-profit organisation supporting small business start-ups. Later recruited by the giant US computer company DEC, Tony worked closely with partners such as Microsoft, Cisco, Nokia, and with key clients in the City of London financial services and UK retail industries. In Bristol Tony has been involved in multiple grass-roots projects and has written regularly on economic and political issues. 

Conan Connolly (Bristol East) - Brought up farming, Conan is naturally passionate about sustainable practices and food security. After completing 10 years of military service in Ireland and reading Civil & Environmental Engineering at University of Dublin, he joined the Green Party in 2013. If returned for Bristol East, Connolly will prioritize climate action, and ending Brexit sectarianism & racism. 

Heather Mack (Bristol North West) - Heather Mack is a passionate environmental campaigner. After growing up in a council estate in North Devon, she moved to Bristol 5 years ago to work as a volunteer and event manager in the charity sector. She now works for local MEP Molly Scott Cato, gaining valuable political experience. Heather was recently arrested as part of the Extinction Rebellion action in London. She is prepared to fight for what she believes in. 

 

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