Australia’s Natalie Bennett named leader of UK Greens
Australian-born journalist Natalie Bennett has beaten several British candidates to be the new elected leader of the Green Party in England and Wales.
AUSTRALIAN-born journalist Natalie Bennett has beaten several British candidates to be the new elected leader of the Green Party in England and Wales.
It is the first time a British political party has been headed by an Australian, as Ms Bennett takes over from Caroline Lucas who was elected as the Greens’ first MP in 2010.
Ms Bennett has worked as a United Nations adviser as well as a journalist for a number of publications and is a former editor of the Guardian Weekly, which she left to focus on writing and politics.
The 46-year-old said she was “deeply honoured” to be given the responsibility to lead the party and stood because she believed in its “radical vision” for Britain’s future.
“It offers, I think, the only viable way forward for British people, for the world,” she said in her acceptance speech.
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She also told ABC Radio in Australia that having an Aussie accent will be both a blessing and a curse in British politics.
“It has an advantage in that it makes me immediately classless. So people don’t place me in a particular class which is an advantage. But there is also – perhaps some people don’t like the idea that I you know come from a foreign background, but then again 11 per cent of Britons are born overseas, so I’m not actually that unusual.”
Ms Bennett defeated three other Green Party candidates in Peter Cranie, Romayne Phoenix and Pippa Bartolotti, and will be supported by Will Duckworth who was named her deputy leader.
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