The New Statesman covers Zack Polanski’s bid for Deputy Leader
In the May local elections in the UK the Green Party increased its council seats to 547. Never before has the country had such a green tinge. At a national level, however, the tinge remains faint. Caroline Lucas, the MP for Brighton Pavilion, is the only Green to sit in the House of Commons. Zack Polanski, who today (6 June) announced his candidacy for deputy leader of the Green Party, believes he can help upend this status quo.
“I want to see two to five Green MPs in power after the next general election, and 1,000 Green councillors by 2025,” Polanski, 39, the chair of the Environment Committee of the London Assembly, told the New Statesman. There is a tendency for the party only to be associated with climate and environment issues, he adds, but “there is no environmental justice without racial, social and economic justice too – and I think the Green Party is the party that truly gets that.”
Polanski believes improving the press coverage of Green candidates and understanding of their policies will be essential to any election success. The media platform he has built while at the London Assembly could be an asset as deputy leader, he says. “The Green Party hasn’t been invited on Question Time [the BBC’s flagship political debating programme] once this year,” he cites as an example of the mainstream media’s apparent anti-Green bias. “We now have more councillors than Ukip [Nigel Farage’s Brexit-supporting party] did at their peak and they were never off the TV.”
By India Bourke