Caroline Patricia Lucas (born 9 December 1960) is a British politician and member of the Green Party of England and Wales who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Brighton Pavilion since 2010, when she became the first Green MP. She was re-elected in 2015 with an increased majority.
Born in Malvern in Worcestershire, Lucas graduated from the University of Exeter and the University of Kansas before earning a PhD from the University of Exeter in 1989. She joined the Green Party in 1986 and held various party roles, also serving on Oxfordshire County Council from 1993 to 1997. She was elected as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for South East England in 1999 and re-elected in 2004 and 2009, also serving as the Party's Female Principal Speaker from 2003 to 2006 and from 2007 to 2008.
Lucas was elected the first Leader of the Green Party in 2008 and was elected to represent the constituency of Brighton Pavilion in the 2010 general election. She stood down as Leader of the Green Party in 2012 to devote more time to her parliamentary duties and focus on winning re-election. She was re-elected in 2015 as the Greens won their highest-ever share of the vote, though she remains the Party's sole representative in the House of Commons.
She is noted for campaigning and writing on green economics, localisation, alternatives to globalisation, trade justice, animal welfare and food. In her time as a politician and activist, she has worked with numerous NGOs and think-tanks, including the RSPCA, CND and Oxfam.
Early life and education
Lucas was educated at Malvern Girls' College (which became Malvern St James in 2006), an independent school in Great Malvern. She then went to the University of Exeter, where she gained a first-class BA (Hons) in English Literature, graduating in 1983. While there, she went on many trips to Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp and Molesworth peace camp when involved with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). Lucas was an activist in CND and was involved in the Snowball Campaign against US military bases in the UK.
She won a scholarship at the University of Kansas between 1983 and 1984 before pursuing a Diploma of Journalism in 1987. She then earned her PhD in Elizabethan literature from the University of Exeter in 1989, with a thesis entitled Writing for Women: a study of woman as reader in Elizabethan romance. After graduating, Lucas worked as a press officer for Oxfam.
Early political career
Lucas joined the Green Party as a postgraduate in 1986 and had periods as the party's National Press Officer (1987–89) and Co-Chair (1989–90). The Green Party separated amicably into three political parties in 1990 and Lucas joined the Green Party of England and Wales, serving as General Election Speaker (1991–92) and Party Regional Council Member (1997–99).
Green Party MEP and Westminster candidate
Lucas was first elected as a Member of the European Parliament for the South East England Region at the 1999 elections, the first year the election was by proportional representation. In that year the Green Party gained 7.4% of the vote (110,571 votes). She was re-elected in 2004, gaining 173,351 votes (8% share), and again in the 2009 election when the party's vote under the list system rose to 271,506, or 11.6%. In the European Parliament, she was a member of the Committee for Trade, Industry, Energy and Research; the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy; the Committee on International Trade; and the Temporary Committee on Climate Change.
In addition, she is or has been Vice-President of the Animal Welfare Intergroup, a member of Intergroups on Peace Issues and Consumer Affairs, a member of the Parliament's Delegation to ACP (African Caribbean, and Pacific) Countries, and a member of the Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council. As part of her committee work, she was the Parliament's Rapporteur (draftsperson) on a Commission Communication on the impact of air transport on the environment, and the Vice-President of the parliament's committee of inquiry into foot-and-mouth disease.
Brighton Pavilion had the highest vote in the 2005 general election for a Green Party candidate when Keith Taylor, a former Green Party Principal Speaker, gained 22% of the vote. In 2007, Lucas declared her intention to stand for the Green Party's nomination for the prospective parliamentary candidate in the Brighton Pavilion constituency for the next general election. In a letter to party members, Lucas made it clear that she would only stand if she won the internal party selection election by more than 10%, to avoid internal division. She described the move as "the most difficult decision of my life", due to "personal and family commitments" but also her "loyalty and commitment to Keith Taylor, who is a person and a politician for whom I have great admiration and respect". On 18 July 2007, it was announced that Lucas had been selected by the Brighton Green Party. Lucas won with 55% of the party ballot against Keith Taylor's 45%.
In July 2008, Lucas joined the Green New Deal Group, an alliance of experts in finance, energy and the environment. The group put forward plans to invest in green energy, provide greater regulation of the finance sector, and strengthen ties between environmentalists, industry, agriculture, and trade unions. The proposals were put forth in response to fears over the recession, climate change, and increasing energy prices, and stressed the need for integrative policies towards tackling all three.
Green Party Leader and MP
Lucas was elected as the Green Party's first leader on 5 September 2008, gaining 92% of the vote (against one other candidate, Ashley Gunstock) on a turnout of 38%.
Lucas was elected as the Green Party's first-ever MP in the general election of 2010, winning 31.3% of the vote.
In July 2010, Lucas expressed her support for seven campaigners of the Smash EDO campaign who had caused approximately £180,000 damage to an EDO MBM arms factory and were acquitted of conspiring to cause criminal damage. The jury accepted their defence of lawful excuse – action undertaken to prevent a much worse crime – because the company manufactured and sold certain components used by the Israeli military, notably in its assault on Gaza. Lucas stated that: "I am absolutely delighted the jury has recognised that the actions of the decommissioners were a legitimate response to the atrocities being committed in Gaza. I do not advocate non-violent direct action lightly ... [but] their actions were driven by the responsibility to prevent further suffering in Gaza."
On 14 May 2012, Lucas announced she would be standing down as leader as of September 2012 "in order to broaden opportunities for the range of talent in the party and to raise the profiles of others aspiring to election". She added "I'm proud that during the four years of my term, we've moved Green politics forward to a higher level, with the party by far the most influential it has ever been".
Lucas opposes Page 3 girls featured in The Sun newspaper and in 2013 was reprimanded for transgressing the Westminster dress code by wearing a T-shirt with the logo "No More Page Three" to protest against it during a Commons debate.
On 19 August 2013, Lucas was arrested at a nonviolent protest against Cuadrilla Resources fracking operations in Sussex. She was subsequently charged with obstructing a public highway but was found not guilty on 17 April 2014 at Brighton Magistrates' Court. After the court case, Lucas said "This judgement is right but this is not a victory or cause for celebration. We will continue to campaign to end fracking and only celebrate when our world is on the path to a clean energy future."
In the 2015 UK general election, Lucas was re-elected with a majority of 7,967.
Other roles and writings
As well as her party political activities, Lucas has worked with developmental NGO Oxfam as Press Officer (1989–91), Asia Desk Communications Officer (1991–94), Policy Adviser on Trade and the Environment (1994–97) and Team Leader for Trade and Investment (1998–99).
Currently, she is vice-president of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and the Stop the War Coalition and has been on the National Council of CND since 2004. She is also Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil and Gas
She has been an Advisory Board Member to the International Forum on Globalisation, the Centre for a Social Europe and the Protect the Local, Globally think-tank. She has been a Trustee of the Radiation Research Trust and Patron of the Joliba Trust (Africa). She is Matron of the Women's Environmental Network. Between 1997 and 1998, she was called upon as a Policy Adviser on Trade and Investment for the UK government's Department for International Development.
Lucas is a prolific writer of reports, articles and books on the subjects of trade justice, localisation, globalisation, animal welfare and food, in which she is critical of free trade, a Single European Currency, trade-led developmental policies, genetically-modified (GM) food and a lack of attention to environmental and social issues. Her most substantial work is Green Alternatives to Globalisation: A Manifesto (co-authored with Mike Woodin), which advocates localisation of economies based on minimal trade and greater social and environmental concern, in opposition to neo-liberal, market-led forces of globalisation. A book by Lucas on her time in parliament, Honourable Friends: Parliament and the Fight for Change, was published in 2015.
In early 2013, Lucas co-signed a letter which was published in the Guardian newspaper which officially marked her support for the People's Assembly movement. she also gave a speech at the People's Assembly Conference, held at Westminster Central Hall on 22 June 2013.
In her time as a politician and activist, Lucas has won the 2006 Michael Kay Award "for her outstanding contribution to European animal welfare" from the RSPCA. She was named in the Top 10 of the New Statesman Magazine Person of the Year Award 2006, which was voted for by New Statesman readers.
Lucas has won the award for Politician of the Year in The Observer Newspaper Ethical Awards three times. The award is voted for by Observer readers, who chose her to win in 2007, 2009 and 2010. In 2008 she was listed by The Guardian as one of "50 people who could save the planet".
In October 2008 Lucas was winner in the Trade category of The Parliament magazine MEP Awards 2008. The awards are voted for by MEPs and NGOs. In April 2010 Lucas won Best UK Politician in The Independent Green Awards and in November 2010 she was awarded "Newcomer of the Year" in The Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year awards. In July 2011 she was awarded "Best all-rounder" in the Total Politics End of Year MP awards and in September 2011 she was awarded "MP of the Year" in the Women in Public Life Awards 2011. Also in 2011 she was given the Political Studies Association award for "Influencing the Political Agenda" and voted "Progressive of the Year" in Left Foot Forward's readers' poll.
Lucas married Richard Le Quesne Savage in 1991; the couple have two sons.
- Harris, John (8 February 2010). "Could Brighton Pavilion elect Britain's first Green MP?". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- Greens Pick MEP Lucas to Run for MP, Brighton Argus, 18 July 2007
- "Caroline Lucas: the Green in beige who could be Nick Clegg's nemesis". The Daily Telegraph (London). 3 September 2010.
- "Lucas, Dr Caroline", Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014 ; online edn, Nov 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2015 (subscription required).
- "Green Shift". Thirdwaymagazine.co.uk. 4 February 2005. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- Assinder, Nick (1 April 2005). "Interview: Caroline Lucas". BBC News.
- Teri Pengilley (14 October 2013). "Where are they now? The students who went on to become national politicians Caroline Lucas". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- Dr. Caroline Lucas MEP, in the European Parliament.
- "Dr Caroline Lucas MEP". Greenparty.org.uk. 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
- "South East European Election Result". BBC News.
- "Greens battle to be the first MP", The Argus, Brighton, 14 June 2007
- "UK needs a 'Green New Deal'". 20 July 2008. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
- van der Zee, Bibi; Evans, Rob (2 July 2010). "Brighton MP declares support for acquitted Gaza campaigners". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 3 July 2010.
- Quinn, Ben (13 May 2012). "Caroline Lucas to step down as leader of the Green party". London: The Guardian.
- MPs who have signed the Simpol Pledge: uk.simpol.org - MPs who have signed the Simpol Pledge
- "Caroline Lucas in Page Three T-shirt protest during debate". BBC News. 12 June 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- "Green MP Caroline Lucas arrested at climate protest". BBC News. 19 August 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- "Green MP Caroline Lucas cleared over fracking protest". BBC News. 17 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- "Brighton Pavilion Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- "Patrons and vice-presidents". RSPCA.
- "Steering Committee & Officers". Stop the War Coalition.
- "Green MEP Re-elected To CND National Council". Green Party.
- "Membership". All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil and Gas.
- Dr Caroline Lucas MEP's Biography[dead link] on her own website
- Michael Woodin and Caroline Lucas (2004). Green Alternatives to Globalisation. Pluto Press. p. 262. ISBN 0-7453-1932-7.
- Caroline Lucas (5 March 2015). Honourable Friends: Parliament and the Fight for Change. Granta Publications. ISBN 978-1-84627-594-4.
- People's Assembly opening letter http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/feb/05/people-assembly-against-austerity 5 February 2013, The Guardian Newspaper.
- RSPCA Presents Lucas With ‘Michael Kay’ Award For Animal Welfare Work
- Who cares wins..., The Guardian
- The Observer Ethical Awards 2009, The Guardian
- Observer Ethical Awards: Caroline Lucas, Ethical Politician Award, The Guardian
- Vidal, John; Adam, David; Watts, Jonathan; Hickman, Leo; Sample, Ian (4 January 2008). "50 people who could save the planet". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
- MEP Awards 2008 Winners[dead link]
- The Green Awards: Our experts celebrate those doing most to protect our fragile environment, The Independent
- Parliamentarian of the Year award recipients 2010[dead link], The Spectator
- "The End of Year MP awards". Total Politics. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- "Women in Public Life Awards 2011". Dods Parliamentary Communications Limited. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- "2011 Political Studies Association Awards Ceremony" (PDF). Political Studies Association. Retrieved 29 December 2011.[dead link]
- "Look Left – Look back at the year". Left Foot Forward. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- "National Portrait Gallery - Portrait - NPG x126085; Caroline Lucas". Npg.org.uk. 2002-12-13. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
- Liam Fox (Author), Caroline Lucas (Author), Raymond Lygo (Author), Hugh Beach (Author), Nick Grief (Author), Steven Haines (Author), Clare Short (Author), Tim Hare (Author), Ken Booth (Editor), Frank Barnaby (Editor), The Future of Britain's Nuclear Weapons, 2006 ISBN 978-0-9511361-9-5
- Lucas, C. P., Woodin, M., Green Alternatives to Globalisation: A Manifesto, 2004 ISBN 978-0-7453-1933-9
- Lucas, C. P., Global Warming, Local Warning: A study of the likely impacts of climate change upon South East England, 2004
- Lucas, C. P., Towards a GM free Europe: Halting the spread of GMOs in Europe, 2003
- Jones, A., Lucas, C. P., Local Food: Benefits and Opportunities, 2003
- Lucas, C. P., Time to Replace Globalisation, 2001
- Lucas, C. P., Which way for the European Union: Radical Reform or Business as Usual?, 2001
- Hines, C., Lucas, C. P., Stopping the Great Food Swap: Relocalising Europe's Food Supply, 2001
- Lucas, C. P., From Seattle to Nice: Challenging the Free Trade Agenda at the Heart of Enlargement, 2000
- Lucas, C. P., Woodin, M., The Euro or a Sustainable Future for Britain? A Green Critique of the Single Currency, 2000
- Lucas, C. P., Watchful in Seattle: World Trade Organisation threats to Public Services, Food and the Environment, 1999
- Lucas, C. P., Reforming World Trade: The Social and Environmental Priorities, 1996
- Coote, B., Lucas, C. P., The Trade Trap, 1994
- Lucas, Caroline (1989). Writing for Women: The Example of Woman as Reader in Elizabethan Romance. Open University Press. p. 176. ISBN 0-335-09017-6.
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Caroline Lucas.|
|40x40px||Wikinews has news related to:|
- Official website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- The NS interview: Caroline Lucas, Alyssa McDonald, New Statesman, 12 May 2010
- Early Day Motions signed
|Party political offices|
|New office||Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales
| Succeeded by|
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament
for Brighton Pavilion
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