Caroline Lucas, the MP for Brighton Pavillion, has announced that she will be stepping down from her role as co-leader of the Green Party later this year, in a move that she claims will create space within the party for new voices to be heard.
The Green Party require leaders to re-stand every two years, and whilst Lucas will maintain her position as MP for the Brighton Pavillion constituency, she will not be seeking nominations for leaders in this years vote.
Lucas, who shares leadership with Jonathon Bartley, has been co-Leader of the party since 2016. However, this stint as leader was not her first: she initially took leadership of the party back in 2008, as the very first leader of the Green Party, before Natalie Bennett secured the role in 2012. After Bennett stepped down, Lucas once more took upon the role of leader, this time alongside Bartley.
Leader of the Green Party was not Caroline Lucas’s only first in politics however – when she gained the Green Party’s first seat in Parliament in 2010, which she took from Labour, she became Brighton’s first ever female MP, securing her name in the history of British politics.
Speaking to The Guardian, Lucas has said that her step down from leadership is by no means a step down from her other roles in the party – instead, she will be “focusing even more on work in parliament and in [her] Brighton constituency.”
She went on to say that “I have faith that our party, under a new leadership team, will step up to the challenge that our increasingly febrile times present, and give the people of this country the bold alternative that is so desperately needed.”
Bartley has made it clear that he does not wish to be the party’s sole leader, meaning that it’s possible that he will look to form another co-leadership ahead of the vote that will take place in August.