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For the U.S. politician, see Darren Johnson (New York).

Template:Infobox AM Darren Paul Johnson (born in 1966 in Southport, Lancashire)[1] is an English politician and prominent member of the Green Party of England and Wales. He represents the Green Party in the London Assembly and is one of six Green councillors in the London Borough of Lewisham.[2]

Johnson, who is openly gay, lives in Brockley, Lewisham, with his long-term partner and fellow borough councillor, Dean Walton.[2]

Early life and careerEdit

At school, Johnson studied A-Levels in English, Theatre Studies and Journalistic Studies. Johnson admitted to his "shame" that his first foray into politics was standing in a school mock election in 1979 as a Conservative Party candidate.[1]

He lived in Hull for three years before moving with a friend to Wembley in London in 1990. He also lived in Finsbury Park and Golders Green before settling in Lewisham. His first job in London was "in accounts with an advertising firm in Goodge Street". He took a degree at Goldsmiths College (part of the University of London) in 1994, eventually gaining a first-class BA (hons.) degree in Politics and Economics.[1][2] He apparently "started to work on his PhD until the London Assembly distracted him".[3] He was also once a "paid consultant to Friends of the Earth".[4]

Political careerEdit

Johnson joined the Green Party in 1987 at the age of 20[2] "after the Chernobyl Disaster"[1], which "had a big impact" on him.[5] He was Male Principal Speaker of the party in 2002.[6]

According to the Knitting Circle (a website with "resources on lesbian and gay issues"), his campaigning experience includes infiltrating "the military base at Aldershot dressed as Ivan the Terrible during an arms fair. He was saluted by the guards as he drove through the gates in a large limousine with tinted windows. He tried to buy arms with Monopoly money".[3]

London Assembly memberEdit

In 2000, Johnson was elected to the inaugural London Assembly as part of a three-strong Green Group, including Jenny Jones AM and Victor Anderson (who resigned in March 2003 and was replaced by Noel Lynch for the remainder of the term). The 2004 elections would see the Greens lose the seat held by Lynch, leaving Johnson and Jones as the two remaining members of the Green Group.[2] Both won re-election in the 2008 election, when the Greens held on to their two seats.

As an Assembly member, Johnson is or has been a member of numerous committees, including the Health and Public Services Committee, the Environment Committee (of which he is the Chair), the Transport Committee, the Planning and Spatial Development Committee, the Commission on London Governance, the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA), the Elections Review Committee and the 7th July Review (London Resilience) Committee.[7] He has also chaired an inquiry on nuclear waste trains for the GLA.[2] In addition, he is a LFEPRA representative on the Local Government Association's Fire Services Forum.[8]

Lewisham councillorEdit

In the 2002 local elections, Johnson was elected as a councillor for the Brockley ward in the London Borough of Lewisham, the Greens' first councillor in Lewisham,[2] polling 1026 votes and coming top in the ward.[9] He was re-elected in 2006, when the Greens gained a further five seats on Lewisham Council.[2] He came top of the ward again, polling 1583 votes.[10]

In his time on Lewisham Council, Johnson has been successful in getting the council to adopt a Fair Trade policy. He has opposed the closure of Ladywell Leisure Centre and put forward alternative sites for a new school. He successfully campaigned for a new pedestrian crossing on Brockley Road, secured improvements to the traffic calming scheme and managed to halt evictions at St Norberts Allotments.[11] He is or has been a member of Lewisham Council's Council Urgency Committee, Elections Committee, Licensing (Supplementary) Committee, Licensing Committee, Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust. He has represented Lewisham Council on the Local Government Association General Assembly.[12]

Mayoral candidateEdit

Johnson was the Green Party's candidate for Mayor of London in 2000 and 2004. In the 2000 election, he won 2.2% of first preference votes (38,121 votes) and came third in second preference votes with 192,764 second preferences (13.6%), thus coming fifth overall. In the 2004 election, he received 57,331 votes in the first round (2.9%), before gaining 10.9% of second preferences (208,686), effectively coming fifth overall.

Johnson chose not to seek selection as mayoral candidate for a third time. On 12th March 2007, the London Green Party voted to select Siân Berry as their mayoral candidate in the 2008 mayoral election, replacing Johnson.[13]

Parliamentary candidateEdit

Johnson is the Green Party's parliamentary candidate in the Lewisham Deptford constituency. He came fourth in the constituency in the 2001 general election, polling 1,901 votes (6.5%). In the 2005 general election, Johnson, backed by the Fire Brigades Union (after being the only London Assembly member to vote against cuts in the brigade), received 11.1% of the votes (3,367 votes), coming fourth.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 BBC NEWS | England | London | My London: Darren Johnson
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Darren Johnson's Green Party Biography
  3. 3.0 3.1 Knitting Circle Darren Johnson
  4. BBC News | Battle for London | Candidates | Darren Johnson
  5. Green World Interview
  6. Green Party News Johnson's final address to conference
  7. Darren Johnson's GLA Biography
  8. Darren Johnson's LFEPA Biography
  9. Lewisham Council Election Results 2002
  10. Lewisham Council Election Results 2006
  11. Darren Johnson's Lewisham Green Party Biography
  12. Darren Johnson's Lewisham Council Biography
  13. BBC NEWS | Politics | Berry is Green mayoral candidate

External linksEdit

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