Congratulations to the new leadership of the Green Party

The new leadership and executive of the party have been elected as follows:Leader – NATALIE BENNETT
Deputy Leader – WILL DUCKWORTH

Executive Chair – TIM DAWES
Campaigns Co-ordinator – HOWARD THORP
Elections Co-ordinator – GEOFF SMITH
External Communications Co-ordinator – PENNY KEMP & JOE WILLIAMS (job share)
International Co-ordinator – DEREK WALL
Management Co-ordinator – MARK CRIDGE
Local Party Support Co-ordinator – MATTHEW TOWNSEND
Policy Development Co-ordinator – STUART JEFFERY

I am pleased to say that I have had the chance to get to know 8 of these 11 people quite well through various channels and can assure everyone that this is a strong team that is very capable of taking the Party forward. I know that at least 4 of these people are members of Green Left, including Will Duckworth, so I find that encouraging. Green Left are the growing force in the Green Party, already punching well above its weight in numbers, that will endeavour to keep the Party eco-socialist in philosophy.

It is well known that I did not vote for Natalie, but it is widely acknowledged that she produced the strongest campaign and therefore probably secured the most votes from members not familiar with the candidates. Can she exploit the opportunities presented by a decaying centre-right coalition and a far from dynamic Labour leader? I share Derek Wall’ perspective:
“I think she might. She is intelligent and ambitious. She has proven adept at playing the internal political game, beating candidates who were better known in the party and had stronger backers. So while her aspirations to gain us councillors in every major town and city, to win a tranche of MEPs and to build a parliamentary party, are for the moment just aspirations, they are possible given determination and strategic thought. She has both.”

“She will also gain from the victory of Will Duckworth as deputy leader. A true working class Black Country lad, he won as a councillor in Dudley in May, showing that the party could move beyond its middle-class image and win against Labour in a working-class ward.” – Natalie’s leadership campaign website

BBC coverage and her first TV interview as leader:
(Andrew Neill’s pressing for numbers voting was a bit naughty and she didn’t handle it too well – but otherwise a pretty good debut – and she will have to get used to sour old hacks like Neill and Paxman pretty quick!)

I am looking forward to her ‘victory’ address to Conference on Friday afternoon.

Andy Chyba

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