Parkin resigns from the Greens
Mrs Parkin's resignation came as senior colleagues, including Jean Lambert, one of the Greens' two principal speakers, described her position as 'exceedingly difficult'. However, a move to expel her was withdrawn.
Speaking at the annual conference in Wolverhampton, Mrs Parkin repeated her view that the party must 'reform or fold'. She added: 'Green politics is moving fast everywhere and the Green Party is just not in that at the moment. I hope the party will change and get its act together.' She had no plans to join another party because none was 'remotely green'.
However, there was further conflict over an independent report from the University of Strathclyde, part of a project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, which Mrs Parkin has used to bolster her argument that the Greens need strong leadership.
According to a survey of haemorrhaging party membership - which has sunk to 7,500 from a peak of 18,500 in 1990 - 75 per cent of those who leave cited lack of proper leadership as an important reason and 27 per cent viewed it as decisive. Slightly fewer - 73.5 per cent - said the party's 'ineffectiveness' was an important factor. Mrs Parkin believes the results bear out her contention that internal arguments and factionalism explain the party's poor showing in the April election. But Ms Lambert and others accused her of quoting selectively from the report, which concluded that factors such as the ebbing of public interest in green issues and the regrouping of the Liberal Democrats led to the slump in votes.
Wolfgang Rudig, director of the Strathclyde project, said the best the party could hope for was 'damage limitation'. 'In the present electoral system the only immediate thing the Green Party can do is survive as an organisational entity and wait for new opportunities to arise.'
David Icke, formerly a leading figure in the party, who declared himself last year to be a son of God, told a packed fringe meeting that fear of ridicule and loss of credibility was making the Green movement an 'irrelevance' in achieving fundamental change. He urged his audience to 'raise their vibrations' to match those of the 'Earth Spirit'.
It emerged yesterday that the party might disqualify Mallen Baker, one of Mrs Parkin's principal opponents, from the executive elections for bringing the party into disrepute. This could open the possibility of Sid Rawle, the veteran hippie and spokesman for New Age travellers, being voted in unopposed as one of the Greens' two principal speakers.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
£7 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for two indivi...
£20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a major supplier of buil...
£28000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...