Green Party leader steps aside in strategic move

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas has revealed she will step down from leadership at the end of her second term, as part of a strategic move to raise the profile of other party members and target Lib Dem seats.

The Brighton Pavilion MP said that when she reaches the end of her term in September she will not be seeking re-election in order to allow other members of the party aspiring to election to come forwards, which she believes will help the party grow.

The Green Party is also hoping it can win Liberal Democrat voters disenchanted with policies brought in by the coalition, as it looks to gain more seats in the 2015 election.

Ms Lucas said: "I'm hugely honoured to have served as the first leader of the Green Party and I'm proud that during the four years of my term, we've moved Green politics forward to a higher level, with the Party by far the most influential it has ever been."

During Ms Lucas' time in office the Green Party gained its first seat at Westminster and first local council in Brighton and Hove. More recently, in the elections for London Mayor it boosted its profile to come in third position - ahead of the Liberal Democrat Party.

Ms Lucas added: "I look forward to continuing to do all I can in my very demanding role as the MP for Brighton Pavilion, representing my constituents and defending them against the Coalition Government's disastrous economic policies and its refusal to accept its environmental and social responsibilities. I will also be able to dedicate even more of my work to the political frontline, putting the Green case for change in Parliament and in all circles of national political debate."

London Assembly Member and recent Green mayoral candidate Jenny Jones, said: "Caroline's decision not to seek re-election at this point is entirely in keeping with Green principles: it's a strong move, allowing other talented people to come through and to take the Green Party even further forward. She has set a superb example of how to lead. Whoever is elected in her place has a tough act to follow."

Nominations for leadership candidates are now open within the Party and will close towards the end of June. The new leader, or co-leaders, will take up the two-year post in early September. No nominations have yet been received.

Carys Matthews


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