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Announcing my candidacy for London

By on 27th May 2015

I’m putting myself forward to be the Green Party’s candidate for the Mayor of London in 2016, and to be a candidate for the London Assembly list.

I’m standing because…

Greens can give London hope – that we can reclaim our homes from oligarchs and speculators, hope that we can take serious action on climate change, and hope that politicians can co-operate with communities and social movements instead of ignoring or trampling over them.

I can persuade London that Green politicians working with grassroots campaigns provide the only hope of solving our housing crisis. We are the only party with the policies to tackle the vested interests of speculators, developers and landlords.

I am standing as an experienced spokesperson with policy expertise, as a candidate who knows City Hall and so can hit the ground running, and as a community activist rooted in local campaigns on housing, the living wage, air pollution and more.

Having worked with Tom for several years, I’ve seen his excellent relationships with campaign and community groups, his strong grasp of London’s housing and environmental crises and his ability to build cross-party coalitions. He would be an extremely effective Assembly Member and a forceful advocate for the Green agenda. I urge you to put Tom as your number one choice on the ballot paper.

Jenny Jones, Member of the London Assembly and House of Lords

We can seize this moment

I believe that the Green Party can, and must, inspire voters over the next year. We can be a shining light in dark times. We can show that Green policies are both radical and credible.

Over the next couple of months I will be unveiling some of my ideas to take back the capital, including:

  • Setting up a pan-London housing co-operative with £2bn to help council tenants take control of their estate regeneration, and help other communities to build genuinely affordable homes
  • Seizing empty investor flats and renting them out on secure tenancies, to bring them into use and put others off from speculating on our homes
  • Giving every Londoner a £10 stake in a new solar energy co-operative, investing at least £80 million over four years in solar panels on schools, homes and workplaces

I will explain these three in more detail over the next month.

My track record

I stood for election to Parliament in May, taking the party in Lewisham West & Penge from 5th to 3rd place and up from 2.1% to 8.5% of the vote. This was one of our strongest swings in London across a constituency that local parties had not previously targeted.

Working with two other brilliant local candidates, Shasha Khan and Rashid Nix, my track record and ability to inspire won over many people in my local area and media. Shasha said:

Tom’s campaign work in Crystal Palace overlaps the Croydon North constituency, a parliamentary seat I have stood as Green party candidate on four occasions. The area has a strong sense of community, where if you do good work – people know about it. When introducing myself, I have lost count the amount of times when canvassing, running a stall or just attending meetings when a Crystal Palace resident area mentions that Green guy, or Tom by name.

Shasha Khan, Green Party activist in Croydon

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During the General Election campaign I was interviewed on Radio 4, 5Live, LBC, BBC London radio and TV, and – not to forget – the Artist Taxi Driver. I got coverage for my local campaign and the regional and national parties in the Financial Times, the Evening Standard, the Guardian, the Independent and a score of local newspapers, web sites and radio shows. I have logged most of this here.

I am especially passionate about getting our message on housing across, whether it’s a detailed and credible explanation of council housing finance on Radio 4’s MoneyBox, or an impassioned call for social justice at the March for Homes:

I have been a campaigner ever since I was a teenager, when I blockaded an Esso garage to protest their funding climate denial. We are at our most successful when we work with other campaigners and communities. In the past decade, I have worked with others to:

  • lead a successful Green Party campaign for Southwark Council to adopt a living wage policy
  • defend small software companies against a flawed patent law in the European Parliament
  • measure air pollution in Crystal Palace and link up with local residents and businesses to get TfL to bring more low-pollution hybrid buses to the area
  • help tenants resist their eviction, and oppose the demolition of their council estates while putting forward positive alternative plans
  • stop the Mayor of London and Bromley Council from building on Crystal Palace Park and destroying its sporting facilities

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For the past six years I have worked in City Hall, researching housing, the economy and climate change for Jenny Jones and Darren Johnson. This gives me two important strengths: I have developed an extremely good understanding of all the policy areas City Hall covers, including transport and policing, and I know how the building works and how to get things done as an Assembly Member. I could hit the ground running from day one, giving other new members time to learn the ropes.

Tom’s work at City Hall was absolutely integral in making London’s first Community Land Trust happen. He is a dedicated, hard working and insightful advocate for affordable housing across the capital and would be a powerful voice for change inside the London Assembly.
Dave Smith, former Chief Exec of East London CLT

I have also held positions in the London Green Party for the past few years, and know how important it is to be a team player. I have worked as a local party support officer, and recently as joint co-ordinator of the London Green Party, because I care about the party and believe in us as a force for positive change. I am running in this selection process for the same reason.

If you want to back my campaign, then like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, share this page with friends and sign up for email updates:

Candidates for internal selections have no access to party membership and supporter lists, so if you want to help me out then please sign up for email updates.

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Reflections on the General Election

By on 21st May 2015

Last night I spoke to the London Young Greens about my experience coming third in Lewisham West & Penge, and what I learned as joint co-ordinator of the London Green Party during our biggest ever campaign.

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Open air hustings in Penge

By on 24th April 2015

I’m going to get out on the stump on Penge High Street, and I’m inviting other candidates to join me, after all but one of the open hustings for Lewisham West & Penge have been cancelled.

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Making copyright work for creatives

By on 24th April 2015

Years ago I held the obscure title of Spokesperson on Intellectual Property for the Green Party. With the fuss yesterday about our policy on copyright, and the strong likelihood of some attempt to change that policy at our autumn conference,

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Walking and cycling should be safe and pleasant for everybody

By on 8th April 2015

Would you like to cycle through Forest Hill, pictured above? What about crossing the road, waiting in the cattle pens breathing in illegal levels of air pollution, or trying to cross where there aren’t any lights? We need safer, nicer streets

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Regenerating the Central Hill Estate

By on 31st March 2015

Lambeth Council are planning to regenerate the Central Hill Estate in Gipsy Hill. Though it’s outside the area I’m standing for, I’ve got involved to help the residents out.

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We should take pride in paying our taxes

By on 17th March 2015

Every time I hear someone say “nobody likes paying taxes”, I want to shout: I do! My taxes pay for a civilised society, for schools and roads we all need, and for support to those who face hard times. Tax

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For a publicly owned and accountable NHS

By on 12th March 2015

I am backing the NHS Reinstatement Bill, which would roll back NHS privatisation, because I believe in a publicly owned, publicly run and publicly accountable NHS.

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Helping the homeless

By on 10th March 2015

One of the most overused, but least acted, on sayings is that the treatment of the most vulnerable is the test of a society’s greatness and civilisation. But homeless people are routinely turned away in London with little or no

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Climate change must be our #1 priority

By on 9th March 2015

One of my favourite subjects at school was geography. I remember learning about acid rain, the hole in the ozone layer, and global warming. It wasn’t until I got involved as a Greenpeace activist that it struck me: why hadn’t