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Natalie Bennett elected leader of the Green Party

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Natalie Calkin
WVoN co-editor

Natalie Bennett has been elected the new leader of the Green Party in England and Wales.

In a vote of more than 3,000 party members this week, Bennett, whose first politics is feminism, beat three other candidates, Peter Cranie, Romayne Phoenix and Pippa Bartolotti.

The new leader takes over from Caroline Lucas, who was elected the Green Party’s first MP in 2010.

Bennett was born in Australia and has been living in the UK for the last 13 years. She is a former journalist for The Independent, The Times, Bangkok Post and former editor of Guardian Weekly.

Bennett is the Chairwoman and founder of Green Party Women, a Trustee of the equality campaign group the Fawcett Society and has also acted as an advisor to the United Nations.

In her acceptance speech, she said she is “deeply honoured” to be elected as leader and stood because she believes in the party’s “radical vision”  for Britain’s future.

She outlined her plans as leader and vowed to fight the coalition government’s “economically illiterate” cuts.

“We need investment in homes, investment in jobs, investment in energy conservation, renewable energy and public transport.

“We are the only party that plans to invest in the future rather than cut. We will cut, but we will only cut Trident and end the UK’s costly military involvement in Afghanistan.”

It is also her goal to see a Green Party MP elected for every region and has set a target of acquiring ten seats in Westminster for the party.

Her first challenge will be to oppose the government’s proposals to build on the Green Belt and construct the controversial third runway at Heathrow.

Bennett feels that the Green Belt acts as a vital part of Britain’s landscape and that investment in rail infrastructure in the UK is a better alternative to increased numbers of flights.

The Green Party has elections every two years for the leader and deputy leader roles. The new Deputy Leader who, under party rules, must be a different gender to the leader, is Will Duncan.

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