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Green MP Vows to ‘Push’ Keir Starmer on Climate and Public Services After Party’s ‘Momentous’ Election Result

The Green Party secured four seats – quadrupling its representation in the Commons – now the real work begins, co-leader Adrian Ramsay says

Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay speaking during the Green Party General Election campaign in May. Photo: PA Images / Alamy
Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay speaking during the Green Party General Election campaign in May. Photo: PA Images / Alamy

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The Green Party has vowed to push Labour to be “bolder” on climate change, nature and funding for public services after claiming three new seats overnight, in what was dubbed a “momentous step forward for the party”.

The Greens quadrupled their representation in the Commons, taking two seats from the Conservatives – who suffered the worst defeat in its parliamentary history – and one from Labour. Keir Starmer’s party secured a landslide victory with 412 seats (34% of the vote) with two left to declare.

But Thursday’s vote was also the Greens’ most successful election night ever, going from one to four seats. Until now, it had only ever won in the Sussex constituency of Brighton Pavilion.

Green Party co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay both won their seats at the party recorded its best election result ever. Photo: Associated Press / Alamy

The party held that seat, while co-leader Carla Denyer unseated the shadow culture secretary, Thangam Debbonaire, by a majority of 10,000 in Bristol Central.

Denyer’s co-leader, Adrian Ramsay, overturned a 22,000 Conservative majority to win Suffolk’s Waveney Valley, with a 32.1% swing to his party.

Speaking to Byline Times on Friday, Ramsay said the party’s success will make it “much harder for them [Labour] to pretend they’re doing everything they can, if the Greens are there pushing them further”. He vowed the party would be a “constructive opposition, seeking to shape the debate”.

Of the party’s electoral triumph, the MP said it was all part of a plan Denyer and he hatched three years ago when they became co-leaders, saying the pair had a “very clear strategy for this general election”.

Ramsay explained the party stood candidates across the country to raise the party’s profile while “laser” targeting the four winning seats with resources. It has led to “a record number and share of votes”, which Ramsay credits as down to a “bold and practical manifesto showing that there is a positive alternative” to Labour.

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On Labour’s victory, he was cautiously optimistic, saying he hoped it was a “reset moment in terms of standards in public life”.

Ramsay applauded Labour leader Keir Starmer for “talking about restoring the notion of politics as public service, which I strongly support”.

“There’s a real sense that people feel let down and that the previous Government tore up the rules on standards in public life,” he told Byline Times, adding: “I share those aims and sentiments. We need to restore civility to politics.”

Ramsay, who signed the Jo Cox Foundation pledge for civility in politics, said MPs must work together: “It’s about not being tribal, finding areas of agreement with other parties, and being a constructive opposition.”

Things don’t need to be personalised, as they were too often in this campaign. You can have a constructive debate in the best interest of the country. Keir Starmer is setting that tone, and I want to support it

Adrian Ramsay, Green Party co-leader

Asked what his first PMQ to the new Prime Minister would be, Ramsay said he would highlight the “severe lack” of NHS dentists in Waveney Valley, “which affects much of the country” and is a “huge issue”, and ask Starmer to review the NHS dental contracts to tackle it.

“The overall theme here is the area’s neglect,” Ramsay explained. People wanted an active, visible, local MP. The decline of local services, including dentistry and sewage in the river, are examples of neglect.

“The natural environment is a big issue for people locally. I want to champion restoring it because my constituents want that. Labour doesn’t instinctively focus on nature, so I hope to work positively with them to bring it to the agenda.”

As Starmer on Friday began appointing his cabinet and, speaking outside 10 Downing Street pledged that “the work of change begins immediately”, Ramsay said the Greens would regroup and “look at how best to apply leverage”.

Britain’s new Prime Minister, Keir Starmer, outside 10 Downing Street in London, on July 5, after returning from seeing King Charles III where he was asked to form a Government. Photo: Associated Press / Alamy

The King’s speech, on 9 July, “will give us an opportunity to respond”, Ramsay said, explaining the party will “likely say there are good things in it but that they don’t go far enough in terms of the climate crisis, energy security, restoring nature, and investment in public services”.

He predicted that Labour would “make small steps in the right direction, but not at the pace needed to address these issues”, and pledged that his party will “bring ambition and urgency to the debate and show different ways of thinking about these issues”.

In terms of parliamentary allies, Ramsay cited former party leader and MP Caroline Lucas previously working closely with Plaid Cymru, adding: “I think there will be opportunities to work with them on common goals”.

He pledged to be “building working relationships locally” in Norfolk and Suffolk to cement his success, and since the Lib Dems, “also talked about social care and dentistry” this election “there might be opportunities” for cooperation there too.

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Ramsay shares the collection disappointment felt by many around the disproportionate election results with smaller parties not getting “fair representation”.

“We’ve shown we can win under First Past the Post, but what really matters, if democracy is to work, is for everyone’s vote to count equally,” he said.

Hard-right party Reform UK also had electoral success – its leader, Nigel Farage, won Clacton, becoming an MP for the first time on what was his eighth attempt to enter the Commons. The party mirrored the Greens taking four seats, leading Ramsay to say only that he hoped, but did not expect, that “we might get the same media coverage”.

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This election, Ramsay said, showed people clearly wanted to “vote outside of the top two parties”, and even those who voted Labour, “I’m not sure how enthusiastic it was”.

“We’ve been determined to offer a positive alternative, that sets out a better vision for everybody without resorting to scare tactics and divisive tactics,” he said, adding that anyone “excited” about the Green’s election results should join the party – something that appears to already be happening: “We’re seeing a membership spike today.”

“We’ve got great opportunities to build on this, including the local elections next year and beyond, and people joining can be part of making that happen. We can accelerate it to the next level.”

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