Deputy leader of Animal Welfare Party and the UK's first-ever elected animal rights councillor
Jane Smith is deputy leader of Animal Welfare Party (UK) and the UK's first-ever elected animal rights councillor.
In the 2019 general election, Animal Welfare Party had the highest percentage of female parliamentary candidates outside the Women's Equality Party.
A mother of three adopted sons, Jane had a career in psychotherapy where she worked in NHS settings as well as in independent practice. She was a finalist in Cheshire Life's Woman of the Year Award for her work pioneering pro bono pet bereavement drop-in clinics.
In 2015 Jane left her psychotherapy career to pursue animal and environmental campaigns full-time. She has served as a councillor in Alsager, Cheshire for the past five years, where her work has brought many firsts for her area - including the first town in the UK to stipulate wildlife tunnels in all new planning applications; the first UK town with its stand-alone Pollinator Action Plan; and the first Cheshire town to independently declare climate emergency.
As a staunch defender of the rights of wild animals, Jane runs Wounded Badger Patrol Cheshire, one of the largest badger action groups in the country, and in 2018 she founded the area's first patrolled toad crossings, ensuring that endangered amphibians reach their natal ponds safely each Spring.
An experienced and passionate public speaker, Jane has addressed audiences at gatherings including VegFest London (Kensington Olympia) 2018, Birmingham Wildlife Festival 2018 and 2019, ToadFest 2018, Animal Rebellion 2019, WRATH (Worldwide Rally Against Trophy Hunting) 2020 and the Manchester Youth Climate Strike 2019 where she addressed 5,000 young people.
She is also a school speaker for Compassion In World Farming.
Jane's areas of expertise include campaigning for the rights of animals in politics; environmental campaigning; the importance of women standing in local and national government elections; the role of women in environmental, peace and animal rights campaigning; the importance of educating girls and young women around political campaigning and political systems; and the huge debt today's women in politics owe to the many thousands of campaigning women, some well-known but the vast majority unsung, who came before them.