Chlöe Swarbrick’s Green Party co-leadership bid will not go uncontested, as another member of the party has announced their plans to run for the top spot.

Party member Alex Foulkes announced his interest in the role yesterday evening.

A Green Party spokesperson told 1News that they understood Foulkes intended to officially submit his nomination next week.

For the Greens, nominations are open to any party member, not just sitting MPs.

For an application to be valid, the member needs to obtain five signatures from other members.

Foulkes, who emigrated from Scotland to New Zealand in 2002, describes himself as a “wildlife biologist and conservationist” and a “staunch eco-socialist and a trade unionist”.

“I have immense respect for Chlöe Swarbrick. I campaigned for her in Auckland Central last election. I strongly believe that she will make a brilliant co-leader, and that she is the very person we need to take our party to the next stage of popularity and success.

“The reason I am standing is to draw attention to areas where I believe the party can and should go further and take the fight to the most right-wing government in Aotearoa in living memory,” he said in a media release.

Swarbrick said she welcomed the challenge in a statement to 1News.

“I’ve always said no politician is entitled to anything and I’ve never shied away from a challenge,” the frontrunner said.

“I’ve stepped up to run for co-leading the Green Party as I was asked to by members across the country and I look forward to continued mahi to build our movement for climate, social and Te Tiriti justice.

“I encourage everyone interested in our shared future to join the party and get stuck in.”

In his media release, Foulkes said he was “standing because he believes that ‘coronations’ are bad for democracy.”

“The greatest strength of the Green Party is our member-led democracy. A position as important as co-leader should never go uncontested.

“There should always be a discussion over ideas, policy, and strategy. Our party has a unique advantage in that members’ views are taken seriously.

“Winning a democratic mandate always strengthens a leader. Whoever wins this contest of ideas will come out a stronger co-leader for the Greens.”

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