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Cllr Keith Taylor (born 1 August 1953 in Southend, Essex) is an English politician and senior figure in the Green Party of England and Wales. He was one of the two Principal Speakers of the party from August 2004 (succeeding the late Dr Mike Woodin)[1] to November 2006 (when he was succeeded by Derek Wall)[2]. He gained prominence for being the Green Party's most successful parliamentary candidate ever in the UK, after winning 22% of the vote in the Brighton Pavilion constituency at the 2005 General Election[3].

Early CareerEdit

Before becoming a Green Party activist, Taylor lived in Brighton for 28 years and owned a local business. He "took to community activism opposing an inappropriate local development", leading him to join the Green Party[3].

Green Party Councillor and Parliamentary CandidateEdit

In 1999, Taylor was elected as a councillor on Brighton and Hove City Council, where he represents the St. Peters and North Laine Ward. He is now the Convenor of a twelve-strong Green group of councillors on the City Council[4]. He is or has been a member of the Policy & Resources Committee, the Adult Social Care & Health Committee, the Housing Committee, the Joint Commissioning Board, the Shoreham Airport Joint Committee, the Housing Decision Procedures Scrutiny Panel and the Licensing & Regulatory Functions Sub-Committee[5].

Taylor stood twice (2001 & 2005) as the parliamentary candidate in Brighton Pavilion, the strongest Green constituency in the UK. Taylor received 22% of the vote in 2005, the party's highest ever general election score[4].

In August 2004, Taylor was appointed as a replacement for the late Dr. Mike Woodin as the Green Party's Male Principal Speaker alongside Dr. Caroline Lucas MEP, the Green Party's Member of the European Parliament for the South East England Region and then also the party's Female Principal Speaker[1]. The Guardian stated that Taylor "defies the stereotype of Green politicians as earnest or bookish academics"[6]. He was elected to the post in November 2005, beating eco-socialist Dr. Derek Wall by 851 votes to 803; again, he would be Principal Speaker alongside Lucas[2]. In November 2006, Taylor lost to Wall by 767 votes to 705[2].

In 2007, Taylor faced Dr. Caroline Lucas MEP in the race to be the Green Party's prospective parliamentary candidate in the Brighton Pavilion constituency for the next general election. Taylor, on announcing his campaign, said, "This will be the third time I've contested this seat. I inherited a 2.6% vote for the Greens and have built that up to 22%. Next time, if I am selected again Brighton voters will make history in electing me the country's first Green MP". Lucas, in a letter to local party members, said that she had been invited to stand by several local members and described it as "the most difficult decision of my life" because of her "personal and family commitments" and her "loyalty and commitment to Keith Taylor, who is a person and a politician for whom I have great admiration and respect"[7].

On the 18th July 2007, it was announced that Lucas had been selected ahead of Taylor by the Brighton Green Party. Lucas won with 55% of the party ballot against Taylor's 45%. Taylor congratulated Lucas and pledged his support for the campaign[8].

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Green Party Website Press Release 6th August 2004 - Greens appoint new figurehead
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Green Party Website Press Release 24th November 2006 - Siân Berry and Dr. Derek Wall elected as Principal Speakers
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cllr. Keith Taylor's Green Party Website Biography
  4. 4.0 4.1 Cllr. Keith Taylor's Brighton and Hove Green Party Website Biography
  5. Cllr. Keith Taylor's Brighton and Hove City Council Biography
  6. Greens name new figurehead
  7. Brighton Argus Article June 14th 2007 - Greens Battle to Be the First MP
  8. Brighton Argus Article July 18th 2007 - Greens Pick MEP Lucas to Run for MP

External linksEdit

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