Sian Berry

Green London Assembly member quits just three days after re-election

The former Green Party co-leader, Sian Berry, has quit the London Assembly just three days after being re-elected to City Hall.

Her departure means Zoe Garbett, a Hackney councillor and recent London mayoral candidate for the Green Party, will replace her. 

Berry was selected as the candidate for the Brighton Pavilion constituency at the upcoming general election last July, replacing outgoing Green MP Caroline Lucas.

An Assembly Member since 2016, Berry said: “Zoe has shown how much of a difference she will make in City Hall, listening to Londoners and bringing their voices into the political debate.

“That’s why she needs to be in this job as soon as possible. She is already a brilliant councillor and will be a brilliant Assembly Member for Londoners.”

However, the decision to quit just three days after being re-elected, has sparked criticism. 

On X (formerly Twitter), Shadow Health Secretary, Wes Streeting, described the move as ‘very poor’ while former Shadow Minister, Jess Phillips, described it as a ‘terrible thing to do.’

Labour MP, Kevin Brennan, added: “The practical embodiment of political cynicism and treating voters with utter contempt from Green Party politician Sian Berry.

“I hope electors in Brighton Pavilion take note.”

When SW Londoner asked why Berry had made the decision, the Green Party responded ‘it was just a matter of process working its way through the Assembly rules.’ 

Caroline Russell, who was also re-elected as a Green Assembly Member on Saturday, added: “After an incredible campaign putting Londoners first, I am thrilled we could bring Zoe into the Green Group at City Hall.

“After following the required internal and legal process here at the Assembly, we just signed the official paperwork this afternoon to make the transition as quickly as possible.”

Berry, who was also the Green Party London mayoral candidate in 2008, 2016 and 2021, was re-elected as one of 11 London-wide assembly members.

This means Londoners vote for a party rather than a specific candidate with parties drawing up a list of candidates. 

Zoe Garbett was fourth on the Green Party list and narrowly missed out on the Assembly but with Berry’s departure, she will now join colleagues Zack Polanski and Caroline Russell at City Hall. 

Following the announcement, Garbett said: “I am excited to join the Assembly and get to work for Londoners. 

There is so much to do to improve the quality of our lives in London, stand up for people on the margins and hold the Mayor to account.”

Garbett is leader of the Hackney Green Group, has been a councillor for Dalston since 2022 and has previously worked in the NHS. 

She finished fourth in the London Mayoral elections on Saturday with 5.8% of the vote.

Featured image credit: Centre for London (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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