Politics

Trailblazing non-binary Green Party activist Tom Pashby wants to make history yet again

Patrick Kelleher January 13, 2022
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Non-binary activist Tom Pashby campaigns for Green Party deputy leader

Tom Pashby. (Supplied)

Non-binary politician Tom Pashby has been selected to run as a Green Party candidate in the 2023 Brighton and Hove city council election.

If elected, Pashby – who previously campaigned to become deputy leader of the Green Party – would become the first ever non-binary person elected to Brighton’s city council.

They were selected to run alongside Kahina Bouhassane after local Greens Alex Phillips and Tom Druitt announced that they would stand down in May 2023.

Tom Pashby told PinkNews that it was a “fantastic feeling” to have been selected as a Green Party candidate for the Brighton and Hove city council elections.

“Winning the seat would mean I can use my skills and experience to help deliver social and environmental justice to residents in Regency ward and the wider Brighton and Hove area,” they said.

“If elected, I would focus on tackling access to housing. As a renter, I know how difficult finding good quality, affordable accommodation can be for people, especially those less well off.

“I would also like to make Brighton and Hove a safer city, and more fun, for those who choose to walk or cycle. If we’re to tackle the climate emergency, we need everyone to get on board with lower carbon forms of transport.”

They also promised that they will campaign on “wider social justice issues” such as LGBT+ rights.

It’s ‘critical’ that more trans and non-binary people are elected to public office

Trans and non-binary people are poorly represented in politics. The UK has never had an openly trans or non-binary MP, while only a tiny number of gender diverse candidates have ever been elected in local politics.

Pashby said it is “critical” that more trans and non-binary people are elected to public office across the UK.

“In recent years we’ve seen institutions sliding back into even more entrenched transphobia and queerphobia,” they said.

“With more of us elected to public office, we can create a better life for our trans and non-binary siblings.”

They added: “I wish it wasn’t such a big thing, in 2022, for a non-binary person potentially getting elected to public office. I hope that with every one of these ‘firsts’, the trans and non-binary community can start to be able to be treated better by wider society.”

Pashby previously ran in the 2017 and 2019 general elections, and in 2020, they made history when they entered the race to become deputy leader of the Green Party. Jonathan Bartley and Sian Berry were ultimately elected as leaders in that contest, with Amelia Womack winning re-election as deputy leader.

 

More: Brighton, green party, non-binary

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