ENG: Caroline Patricia Lucas (born 9 December 1960) is a British politician. Lucas is the Green Party's first MP in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. She was elected for the Brighton Pavilion constituency at the 2010 general election.
Lucas is the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, and formerly a Member of the European Parliament for the South East England region. Along with Jean Lambert she was one of two Green MEPs from the UK, a post she held from 1999 to 2010. As a result of the restrictions regarding dual mandates, she had to give up her seat in European Parliament to take up her seat in the House of Commons. Keith Taylor will succeed her in this position.
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 Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), Oxfam and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
Lucas was born in Malvern, Worcestershire, and 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, which she completed in 1983. Whilst there, she went on many trips to Greenham Common and Molesworth when involved with CND. She took a scholarship at the University of Kansas between 1983 and 1984 before doing a Diploma of Journalism in 1987. She earned her PhD from the University of Exeter in 1989 with a thesis entitled Writing for Women: a study of woman as reader in Elizabethan romance.
Lucas began her career as an activist in the anti-nuclear movement with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).
She was heavily involved in the Snowball Campaign against US military bases in the UK.
Green Party politician and MEP
After joining the Green Party (UK) in 1986 (later renamed the Green Party of England and Wales), Lucas had stints as the party's National Press Officer (1987-89), Co-Chair (1989-90), General Election Speaker (1991-92) and Party Regional Council Member (1997-99). She would later hold the post of Female Principal Speaker from 2003 to 2006 and from 2007 onwards. Her first electoral success came when she won the Green Party's second council seat in the UK on Oxford City Council, which she held between 1993 and 1997.
Lucas was first elected as a Member of the European Parliament for the South East England Region in 1999, 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 (7.9% 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 is or has been 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 seen the highest vote to date for a Green Party candidate when Keith Taylor, a former Green Party Principal Speaker, won 22% of the vote in the 2005 General Election. 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%. Lucas was elected as the Green Party's first-ever MP in the general election of 2010. However, she is not the first Green Candidate to be elected under a first-past-the-post electoral system, as this was Jeanette Fitzsimons of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand in the Coromandel Electorate in 1999.
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.
As well as her party political activities, Lucas has worked extensively 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).
Green Party leadership
Lucas was a candidate in the Green Party of England and Wales leadership election, 2008. On 5 September she was elected as the party's first ever leader. Lucas won 92.4% of the vote (standing against one other candidate, Ashley Gunstock), with a turnout of 37.9%.
Non-party activism and advisory roles
Currently, she is vice-president of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and the Stop the War Coalition. 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. Furthermore, between 199. and 1998, she was called upon as a Policy Adviser on Trade and Investment for the UK government's Department for International Development.