Green Peer Natalie Bennett: A General Election Campaign Evening and a Day in Lancaster and Morecambe

20 June 2024

This week, we had an exciting and busy visit to support our General Election campaign from Natalie Bennett, one of two Green Party members of the House of Lords. She was the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales from 2012-2016, when she led the party to its best-ever election result. She spent 20 years as a journalist, from newspapers in the Australian countryside, through the Bangkok Post to The Times, finishing as editor of the Guardian Weekly. 

Natalie's visit started with an evening on Tuesday at the Herbarium Bar on Great John's Street. Unfortunately Natalie's train was delayed, but a good time was had by all while we waited, having a drink, a chat, and getting stuck in to stuffing envelopes for the campaign to elect Jack Lenox in Lancaster and Wyre! 


Jack Lenox joined us shortly before Natalie to give us a campaign update, including the fantastic news that from canvassing, things are looking very close in Lancaster and Wyre.

Jack said "We have our work cut out to close the gap, but we are within range of doing this!

Jack had been over at St Thomas's Church where the main Lancaster hustings had been organised by Lancaster Churches Together. Unfortunately, the Conservative candidate let the organisers know he was not able to attend that afternoon, and did not arrange a substitute. The Labour Candidate was then told by her party not to turn up if there was no Conservative candidate there. After which the Libdem candidate also pulled out.

The organisers confirmed the event was cancelled just shortly before it was due to begin, when Jack and the attendees were already en route to the Church, so he joined them to speak with anyone who wanted to ask him questions or tell him their concerns, which got a cheer from the disappointed crowd! 

Natalie swept into the room to a big cheer, and went straight into an inspiring talk about her holistic, hopeful and practical vision for the future as explored in her recently published book, "Change Everything: How We Can Rethink, Repair and Rebuild Society".

Afterwards, there was a cue of people to chat to Natalie and buy her book - Natalie said she sold more books here in Lancaster than at any of the similar events. 

Jack said:

"It was an absolute pleasure to host former Green Party leader and peer in the House of Lords, Natalie Bennett. Natalie is an outstanding champion of Green politics, and of dismantling our broken political system to rebuild something much better. She was the leader when I joined the party back in 2015, and it has been a real pleasure getting to know her in my role as Culture Spokesperson over the past few years."

The following day, Natalie joined Gina Dowding on the campaign trail in Morecambe. They are pictured here with the statue of Eric Morecambe on the Promenade. 

Natalie said:

"Great to join Gina in glorious sunshine, with a national icon!"

Their time in Morecambe included Jack joining them for a visit to Morecambe Football Club to talk about football regulation. 

Natalie said:

"Great meeting this morning with Gina Dowding, Green candidate for Morecambe & Lunesdale, and Jack Lenox for Lancaster & Wyre - who is also Green Spokesperson on Culture, Media & Sport - with Morecambe FC reps, talking need for a regulator with real teeth through the Football Governance Bill.

GIna added: 

"I am determined to help push forward with the Football Governance Bill - whatever the result of the General Election. It’s about fairness for fans, and sustainability of clubs. Grassroots football clubs key part of communities - esp here in Morecambe.

It needs to be said that ⁦Morecambe FC⁩ has a fantastic group of (volunteer) people on the board and trust fighting the corner for the club and fans. They made us very welcome … and we came away inspired."

Finally, Gina, Jack and Natalie met with Councillor Tom Fish and Maria Deery, our candidate for the by-election for University Ward happening on the same day as the General Election. 

Tom and Maria have both been heavily involved in the Palestine Solidarity Encampment on campus and the protests against University complicity with what is happening in Gaza, through its links to arms manufacturer BAE systems. It is Green Policy to halt arms sales to Israel. 

In addition to her support for the encampment and its demands, Maria is campaigning on improved mental health services for students, and more support through the cost of living crisis, making campus more safe and welcoming, and holding the university accountable for their net zero pledges.

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