29 May 2019
Streatham councillor Scott Ainslie has been elected as one of eight MEPs representing London – after the Green Party enjoyed a surge of support across the capital in the Euro Elections.
In Lambeth, where Scott has been a councillor in St Leonard’s ward since 2014, the Green vote rose from 15% to 20%. Labour’s vote plummeted from 47% to 22% as thousands switched to the parties with a clear Remain message. Lambeth voted 78.6% to remain in 2016 – higher than anywhere else on mainland UK.
“The results in Lambeth are a sharp reminder to Labour locally that they can no longer take voters for granted,” said leader of the Green Group on Lambeth Council, Jonathan Bartley. “Labour ignores the concerns of local people at their peril.”
Across England, the Green Party beat the Conservatives into fourth place, more than doubling its number of MEPs with seven being elected on a platform of Yes to Europe and No to Climate Chaos. They include former Mayor of Sheffield and Somalian refugee Magid Magid in Yorkshire and Humberside and anti-fracking campaigner Gina Dowding in the North-West.
Across Europe there has been a ‘Green Wave’ of gains, with Greens coming second in Germany and Finland and third in France and Luxembourg, winning more than 70 seats in the European Parliament – up from 51 in 2014.
In Lambeth, London’s new Green MEP Scott Ainslie has been a vocal defender of libraries, council housing and survivors of child abuse – against a constant barrage of attack from Labour councillors since first being elected in 2014. He was a lone Green voice of opposition in the Labour-dominated council, until Green success in the 2018 local elections led four more Green councillors to form the main opposition group in Lambeth.
Scott’s journey into politics began in 2012 with a conversation at the gate of St Leonard’s primary school in Streatham, when Scott and fellow Dad Jonathan Bartley (now co-leader of the Green Party and also a Lambeth councillor) were picking up their children from school.
Scott said: “I wake up every morning driven to make Lambeth and London a cleaner, healthier, safer and more sustainable home for my children. We have to confront our planet’s climate emergency and we have to shout louder that – regardless of the current Brexit mess – UK citizens are still EU citizens, and the EU is working for us, not against us.
“We were the only party making this election about the Climate Emergency as well as Brexit and that has chimed with millions of people. One person is joining our party every three minutes, mainly 18-24 year olds. Our work now is to ensure we remain in the EU and continue our work across borders tackling Climate Breakdown.”