Natalie Bennett has confirmed that she is to stand down as the leader of the Green Party after four years in the post. The decision comes after recent election results which saw the party lose councillors in the local elections, although there has been a substantial increase in the number of party members during Bennett’s tenure.
“With the support of our passionate members and supporters we have been able to achieve much in a relatively short period”.
Bennett has been leader of the party since 2012 and she is a former journalist who was born in Australia and moved to London in 1999.
Siân Berry and Jenny Jones have confirmed that they won’t be standing with the party’s two deputy leaders, Amelia Womack and Shahrar Ali, being possible candidates. The former leader, and the party’s own MP, Caroline Lucas, is also being referred to as a potential candidate for the role.
The Green Party has been drawn in a second investigation into actions of their party representatives today.
Earlier today Jenny Ross mocked Nigel Farage’s cancer and the party leadership has confirmed that a party inquiry will take place into allegations that a Green Party councillor took photographs of Frank Field, a Labour Party MP for Birkenhead, when he was having a heart attack. Field was attending a meeting to debate the sell-off of land of the former Rock Ferry High School at the time that the alleged incidents took place.
Field called on Natalie Bennett, the party leader, to investigate and he said:
“To take a photo of someone who has just had a heart attack would be a despicable thing to do”
Colin Dow, a Green Party councillor, has reported by Labour List to have said that photographs weren’t taken by him but that “had I been closer, I would have taken a picture”.
The Green Party said that an investigation would take place into the allegations.
The Green Party have apologised after their Parliamentary candidate for Stalybridge and Hyde, Jenny Ross, mocked Nigel Farage’s cancer and compared him to Adolf Hitler.
The blog Order Order reported that the Green Party immediately distanced itself from the comments and said that:
“We condemn the language used by Ms Ross. It is neither appropriate or constructive to use this kind of inflammatory language. Our party will fight the vicious rhetoric espoused by Farage but we will not do so by making this kind of offensive remark. We expect an apology from Ms Ross and an internal investigation of her actions is already underway”.
The blog sought a comment from Ross but she refused to apologise and was reported to have made a Twitter post saying:
“No surprise Kippers don’t like dark humour…”