'Sky is the limit' for Green Frank after East Midlands Mayor race

Green Party candidate Frank Adlington-Stringer pictured during an interview with The Nottingham Post at the East Midlands Mayoral election count
Green Party candidate Frank Adlington-Stringer pictured during an interview with The Nottingham Post at the East Midlands Mayoral election count -Credit:Joseph Raynor/Nottingham Post

"They should be able to beat a kid in a jacket from ASOS", joked the Green Party candidate when asked about how he would fare against the established parties in the East Midlands Mayor race. The Conservative and Labour candidates did indeed go on to beat Frank Adlington-Stringer, but the result of the election shows that he is a political figure to watch.

More than anything else, Mr Adlington-Stringer is only 26 years old, still living with his mum in Chesterfield. It is quite something then for him to have secured the backing of more than 50,000 people from across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire at this early stage in his career.

Throughout the East Midlands Mayor campaign, Mr Adlington-Stringer says he was the one candidate who truly held the Conservative and Labour hopefuls to account. The Green Party candidate's contributions to the various hustings and debates were fiery and often led to Claire Ward and Ben Bradley showing visible signs of irritation.

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Yet speaking after the result of the election was declared, Mr Adlington-Stringer firmly denied that his votes had simply come from those disillusioned with the two main parties. He said: "We're here offering a plan. I'm the only person who started this campaign with a plan for a green industrial revolution.

"We set that out. I haven't said the word climate change throughout this campaign. I don't need to.

"People know we're concerned about that. We're here to stand up for people, our society, our communities, restore the fabric which has been destroyed by the Conservatives through their austerity measures.

"We've offered something different, something bold, and people have chosen that. They've chosen the Green Party, not moved away from Labour or Conservative, they voted for better."

One of the key concerns for the Greens heading into the election was how Reform would fare, given their previous success in parts of Derby and Derbyshire. The margin was indeed tight, but Alan Graves secured 49,201 votes compared to Mr Adlington-Stringer's 50,666.

On his victory over Reform, Mr Adlington-Stringer said: "We are absolutely chuffed with what has happened today. I'm ecstatic.

"We have put hope above hate and that is what people want. They want to see someone who cares about their communities. That is me, not Reform."

Mr Adlington-Stringer will now return his focus to being a member of North East Derbyshire District Council. In the future though, he has already been selected as the Green Party candidate for North East Derbyshire MP, and the East Midlands Mayor result has made him more confident of success whenever the general election comes.

The Green Party politician and Nottingham Trent University graduate added: "We're a force to be reckoned with. We finished almost second in a number of seats in Nottinghamshire. In Chesterfield we saw really close margins between us and the Conservatives and we're going to continue that fight.

"This isn't the end, but just the beginning. The sky is the limit and we will keep battling on. It's about time people listen and learn because the public want what we're offering

"It's been wonderful. I've loved every moment of it. It's been a fantastic campaign. I've been inspired by the volunteers, by everyone who's got involved with our movement, and that's what this is.

"This is the beginning of something really special. As a young person, we're often patronised, often told that our voices don't count. Well today, 50,000 people have come and supported me over those that are older than me. In this campaign, age doesn't mean anything."