Leadership candidate Clive Lewis invites Greens to work on cross-party project

Elliot Chappell

Clive Lewis has extended an invitation to Green Party parliamentarians to work on a green new deal transformation project, should he be elected as Labour leader.

The leadership candidate has initiated cross-party talks so that Labour and the Greens might work together on a project to prepare the groundwork for a green new deal.

He has said that the parties would work with campaigners, local authorities, and companies to explore ways to take action ahead of a general election.

Commenting on the proposal, the MP for Norwich South said: “I have long been committed a more plural politics and this is a tangible way of delivering on that commitment.

“We need a new politics of collaboration and openness as the building blocks of the political forces and practices necessary for progressives to take power nationally by 2024 at the latest.”

Lewis suggested that the project would have ideas and practices that – subject to approval from the parties – would appear in each of their manifestos.

Green MP Caroline Lucas and peer Natalie Bennett welcomed the proposal, describing it as a “practical demonstration of cross-party working” and a “grown-up approach”.

Lewis was the second candidate to officially declare his leadership bid with an article in which he called for electoral reform. He has been a longstanding advocate of proportional representation.

He set out his pitch to Labour colleagues in an email ahead of the parliamentary Labour party hustings on Tuesday night, in which he said: “Democracy and pluralism will be at the heart of my vision for Labour.”

The candidate has received the public support of one Labour Party MP so far – it is thought that he may not be able to secure the 22 required nominations to get on the ballot.

Lewis was broadly supportive of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership before the election but quit the shadow cabinet in 2017 to vote against triggering Article 50.

In a BBC interview on Wednesday morning, he was asked to rate Corbyn out of ten – after Rebecca Long-Bailey gave him full marks – and he replied that he would give him “maybe a six”.

The Norwich South MP said that mistakes were made in terms of the way the leader handled Brexit, antisemitism and election planning.

Lewis first became an MP in 2015, having previously worked as a BBC reporter and served as a British army officer.

More from LabourList