The Green Party have today announced that Darren Hall has been selected to stand for Bristol West in the 2015 parliamentary election. The Greens have a 2% lead in the constituency based on recent local election results and are tipped to take the seat next year.
Natalie Bennett the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales is in Bristol today to offer her support:
"Darren Hall is a fantastic candidate and has already been an advocate for Bristol on an international stage," said Ms Bennett.
"The Green Party has majority support here in Bristol West based on recent local election results. If people in each neighbourhood vote the same way they voted in their last local election, Bristol West will have a Green MP by May next year. This is great news for the city."
Darren Hall, is a company director and former manager of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership where he project managed the team that won the European Green Capital Award 2015 for Bristol. Darren has previously worked for the Home Office as a Regional Crime & Drugs Manager; has managed Gloucestershire's flood recovery programme on behalf of the Cabinet office; and worked as Head of Organisational Development advising the Government Office of the South West. Darren runs Big Green Week festival in the city, and has lived in Bristol for 13 years.
Darren Hall said: "Bristol has always been a community that wants to stand on its own two feet. Only a Green MP can truly deliver a leadership that doesn't conform to old party lines, that is democratic, that doesn't let people down, that listens. As an MP, I would stand up for the people and interests of Bristol at all costs, rather than having to toe any party line.”
"Greens have been working alongside Bristol's creatives and green experts for over 20 years to mould a vision for a more sustainable future for our city, but without an advocate in Westminster we are unable to make the vital changes we need. I'm excited to be starting out on this campaign to help us engage with innovative solutions on how to make Bristol work."
Darren Hall is challenging Liberal Democrat Stephen Williams MP, and Labour's Thangham Debonnaire, who is also standing for the seat. The contest is likely to be a closely fought three-way marginal, based on recent local election results showing the Greens are currently in the lead with 28% support across the constituency, followed closely by Labour with 26%, and 24% going to the Lib Dems.
Polling websites such as voteforpolicies.org.uk demonstrate that a majority of voters across the country prefer Green policies to those of all other parties, but many vote tactically believing that smaller parties don't have a chance in general elections.
"The Green Party are encouraging residents to take a fresh look at how and why they vote in 2015," said Daniella Radice, leader of the Green group on Bristol City Council. "Tactical voting in Bristol has repeatedly led to disappointment. People wanting a fresh approach to politics are more and more turning to the Greens to deliver it; an approach that is based on fairness and on bringing communities together."
Brief biography of Darren Hall:
Darren began his career as an RAF Engineering Officer. After completing an MBA with the Open University in 2000, Darren returned to public service undertaking a number of different roles for the Home office; becoming the Regional Crime & Drugs Manager located in Bristol as part of Government Office for the South West (GOSW); managing Gloucestershire's flood recovery programme on behalf of the Cabinet Office; undertaking a secondment to support Bristol's Local Strategic Partnership; and finally taking up post as Head of Organisational Development advising the GOSW Board. His most recent role was as Manager of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership where he project managed the team that won the European Green Capital Award 2015.
Darren is the founding Director of www.thepaleblue.org, and is the founder and editor of Good Bristol magazine (www.goodbristol.com). Darren sits on the board of Bristol's Community Land Trust. He is a keen surfer, cyclist and photographer and lives in Southville, Bristol.