Green Party conference: 'The world and his dog know Natalie Bennett lacks credibility'

The leadership

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Indy Politics

Green Party activists were at pains to profess loyalty to their leader Natalie Bennett yesterday – but her popular predecessor Caroline Lucas retains a strong appeal.

Ms Lucas led the party between 2008 and 2012 before stepping down to focus on her work as MP for Brighton Pavilion, as the sole Green representative in the Commons. She has impressed many in Westminster, winning “Newcomer of the Year” at the The Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year awards.

Ms Bennett’s disastrous performance in an LBC interview last month   sparked mischievous suggestions that Ms Lucas should return as leader before the May election. Rumours have circulated suggesting allies of Ms Lucas considered a leadership bid in January – but decided against.

Such a move would appal Labour and the Lib Dems, who already fear a Green surge could rob them of key seats.  A senior Labour source told The Independent: “The world and his dog know that Natalie Bennett lacks credibility. Caroline Lucas is clearly a more polished performer.

“Fortunately, the Green Party runs along similar principles to an Anarchist militia where a change of leadership... is regarded with the same hostility they reserve for people who eat in McDonalds”.

The party suffered a council by-election setback in Ms Bennett’s backyard this week, finishing third in the Holborn & St Pancras constituency that she hopes to win in May. But yesterday, Green activists had nothing but praise for their leader.