A FORMER Richard Huish College student is running to become the first-ever Green mayor of London.

Zoë Garbett has been selected to stand for the Green Party in the election, which is being held on Thursday, May 2.

Ms Garbett launched her manifesto with her plan for a “greener, more affordable London” in Walthamstow on Monday (April 8).

Her key policies include making the capital more affordable by bringing down rents, introducing a single low fare for all public transport journeys, and widening London's free school meals scheme to secondary school students.

Her other pledges would see her work to create at least 10 new major parks in the city and introduce a higher level of accountability to Metropolitan Police.

Ms Garbett's parents say she is proud of her Taunton roots and comes back to Somerset regularly to visit their family home.

Growing up, she attended Priorswood Primary School and Heathfield Community School (now Monkton Wood Academy) before starting college at Richard Huish.

Ms Garbett, who has three brothers, was also part of the St Andrews Scout Group.

Her parents Ruth and Richard Garbett, both teachers, said: “We are all very proud of Zoë and all that she has achieved so far. It has been an exciting journey! 

“Taunton has been a wonderful place to bring up our family. Zoë has a deep affection for Somerset and loves to come home.”

Ms Garbett moved to the capital after studying in Cardiff and Bristol.

She has spent 10 years working in the public sector, where she held senior positions in public health, adult services, and children’s health services.  She most recently worked in a non-clinical role for the NHS.

She has been a Green Party member for a decade, having joined in 2014, and became the party's first councillor for Dalston in 2022.

Her time in the party has seen her lead a review of its national drugs policy and saw her manage its manifesto development for the 2021 mayoral election.

Speaking to the PA News Agency in March, Ms Garbett said: “If people want to vote Green, they can – and should!

“The Green Party has consistently come third in London and we are a growing force nationally.

“Green Assembly members have a track record of delivering for Londoners.

“A Green mayor would be much more ambitious tackling the issues that really matter to voters: dealing with the housing crisis, making our city more affordable and a more accountable police service.

“Sadiq Khan should be focusing on his record – and the fact he isn’t suggests there isn’t much to be talking about.

“If he wants people to vote for him, he and the Labour Party need to be better.”

Ms Garbett is one of 13 candidates standing to become the next mayor.

Somerset County Gazette: Sadiq Khan (Labour) and Susan Hall (Conservatives).Sadiq Khan (Labour) and Susan Hall (Conservatives). (Image: Stefan Rousseau and Jordan Pettitt, PA Wire)

Mr Khan is standing for re-election, and the Conservatives have put former Harrow Council leader Susan Hall forward as their candidate.

Rob Blackie is hoping to be elected for the Liberal Democrats, and Howard Cox is standing for Reform UK.

Count Binface is also standing after finishing in ninth place in the 2021 election.

Controversial actor-turned-politician Laurence Fox will not be a candidate because his nomination forms “contained errors which – the deadline having passed – were too late for Mr Fox’s team to correct”, according to vote organisers London Elects.