Three Green activists are in a final push to become the party’s candidate for Brighton Pavilion at the next election.

Daniel Rue, Emily O’Brien and Sian Berry are all vying to be the Green candidate in the constituency - the only one currently represented by a Green MP, Caroline Lucas.

The contest was triggered after Ms Lucas announced that she would stand down at the next general election, expected to take place sometime next year, to focus more time on climate activism.

'I want to offer something new'

The Argus: Daniel Rue is hoping to become the next Green MP for Brighton PavilionDaniel Rue is hoping to become the next Green MP for Brighton Pavilion (Image: Green Party)

Daniel Rue, who stood as a candidate in Patcham at the local election in May, said that Caroline Lucas was one of the reasons why he joined the Green Party during the pandemic.

“She has been an amazing representative for the Greens and what we stand for on a national level,” he said.

“I saw the way she stood up for working-class people and I thought that was great. Caroline was always standing up for the right things. There will be big shoes to fill for whoever becomes the candidate.”

Daniel who is the only one of the three to currently live in the city, said he wanted to help bring new ideas to the table and connect with young voters in Brighton. If elected, Daniel hopes to champion a range of issues close to his heart, including support for renters and first-time buyers.

The Argus: Daniel Rue, left, on the campaign trail with Caroline Lucas in Patcham at the local election in MayDaniel Rue, left, on the campaign trail with Caroline Lucas in Patcham at the local election in May (Image: Brighton and Hove Green Party)

Reflecting on the Green Party’s “disappointing” result at the local election in the city, Daniel said he could understand the frustration some residents felt with the former Green-led administration and that the party needs to rebuild trust with voters.

He said: “We need to take a good amount of time to reflect and learn from the result and the feedback we get from residents.

“I think there was a lot of misinformation and misleading of residents during the election, but likewise, I think there is a lot more we could have done. We could have been better at communicating with residents and making sure they understood why decisions were made, such as the budget.

“We should have also had more of a focus on making sure we got the basics right, otherwise you can’t build on that.

“One of the reasons I am standing is because I want to offer something new and work to win back trust.”

Daniel said that Brighton Pavilion is “definitely winnable” for the Green Party and said it is vital to have a Green voice in Parliament to hold a possible Labour government to account.

'I can bring real passion for city'

The Argus: Emily O'BrienEmily O'Brien (Image: Green Party)

Emily O’Brien, currently a Green councillor in Lewes, is also hoping to enter Westminster as the next Green MP for Brighton Pavilion.

She lived in Brighton from 1999 to 2016 and continues to work in the city in the community and voluntary sector.

At the last local election, she increased her share of the vote, with the Greens becoming the largest party on Lewes District Council.

Emily paid tribute to Caroline Lucas and the influence she has had for Green politics in the UK and beyond.

“She was my MP while I lived here and she was also incredibly supportive of the work that I did in the city,” she said.

“There was a sense of grief that Caroline is standing down because she is such a beacon for our movement. It’s a bit like Wonder Woman has announced her intention not to stand.”

Emily, who is currently the Green Party’s candidate for Lewes at the next election, said that she had not intended to stand as a candidate in Brighton Pavilion.

However, she said: “The thing that’s made me think about it was the number of people who said to me that I would be brilliant as an MP here.”

With a reselection process set to take place in Lewes due to boundary changes, Emily said she would not contest the seat if she is chosen as the candidate for Brighton Pavilion.

She said that, if selected, she would bring a “real passion for the city” and a drive to deliver a better world.

“I am not a career politician - I was driven into politics because I got frustrated by doing nationally respected work at a local level, but the answers lie in a different set of political choices, and those choices aren’t being made,” Emily said.

She said she hopes to bring “stardust” from the party’s success at Lewes District Council, where it now has the most councillors, to ensure the Green Party keeps its seat in Brighton, and said she would campaign on issues that matter to local people, in particular housing and public services.

In a message to residents of the city, Emily said: “If activists happen to choose me, it would be an honour to represent local people here and I promise to absolutely work my hardest on behalf of this city.”

'Green voice in Parliament is so vital'

The Argus: Former Green Party co-leader Sian BerryFormer Green Party co-leader Sian Berry (Image: Green Party)

Former co-leader of the Green Party Sian Berry is hoping to take her success in London to the corridors of Westminster as the next Green MP for Brighton Pavilion.

Sian is the leader of the party in the London Assembly and previously ran for election as Mayor of the capital in 2008, 2016 and most recently in 2021.

Her bid to be the next Green candidate in the constituency has attracted support from Caroline Lucas herself, who said Sian is “passionate, principled and a good listener, with a proven track record of ground-breaking campaigning and public service”.

Sian said: “It’s very hard to find someone who has got a bad word to say about Caroline, no matter what their political view, because of the way she works. She’s so passionate about the issues that matter, but always constructive, fair and clear about what needs to be done.”

She said that Caroline had approached her after deciding to stand down at the next election and asked whether she would run to replace her as the Green candidate.

“I’ve had so much support from Caroline all the way through my political life and is another example of that.

“The Green voice in Parliament is so vital so I’d love to represent them.”

The Argus: Caroline Lucas with Sian BerryCaroline Lucas with Sian Berry (Image: Sian Berry)

Sian hit back at criticism from some Labour councillors who have accused her of parachuting in from London to contest the constituency.

She said: “The achievements and the work and the experience I’ve got are all demonstrated by my work in London.

“We know that Labour are going to try and take this seat and I think that by the time of the election, I will have proved my commitment to every single person in Brighton Pavilion.”

Sian also made it clear that she would stand down from her role on the London Assembly if elected as an MP.

Since announcing her bid to become the candidate, Sian has already traversed the length and breadth of the constituency, meeting residents and Green Party members.

She pledged that, if selected, she would listen to every resident in the city and work hard to win their trust and their vote.

Sian said that the campaign so far had been “really positive” and encouraged residents to come and talk to her if she is selected as the candidate for the constituency.

Green Party activists have until Wednesday to cast their vote for the candidate they would like to see represent the party in Brighton Pavilion at the next election.