Green party gets new speakers

Derek Wall has been elected as new joint principal speaker for the Green party, after beating the incumbent, Keith Taylor, by 767 votes to 705.

The 41-year-old will hold the post alongside Sian Berry, who became joint principal speaker after an uncontested election in September.

The job of principal speaker is to represent the Greens to the public and in the media, in a similar position to the leaders of other political parties.

Mr Wall, an economics lecturer and author, was the Green candidate for Windsor in the last general election, where he won about 2.5 per cent of the vote.

He says he is a strong believer in direct action and has been an environmental campaigner for decades. Today he said he was “pleased, flattered and surprised” to have been elected.

“Green politics is the politics of survival. Infinite economic growth is impossible on a finite planet. We must think deeply about how we transform our economy, our lifestyle and our political institutions,” he said.

“Green principles of ecology, social justice, non violence and grassroots democracy, are the only way forward for politics..For me, environmental concerns are vital but they can only be solved through social and economic change.”

Ms Berry, 32, was previously the Green party’s national campaign coordinator. Last year, she stood as a candidate for Hampstead and Highgate constituency in London.

She is best known for running a campaign against gas-guzzling four wheel drive cars, and created spoof parking tickets for distribution around London to alert owners of 4×4 to their environmental damage.

Ms Berry, a website manager at Imperial college London, said she was “honoured” to have the job as joint principal speaker, and claimed the Greens were the only party that could take the right action on climate change.

She expressed the hope that her party could pass the 100 councillor mark next year – currently the Greens have 92 councillors on 38 councils, as well as two members on the Greater London Authority and two MEPs.